OK, that headline might be a little hyperbolic. But the State Department has issued guidance that suggests that many more people need to register under ITAR as “manufacturers” of defense articles–and therefore pay $2,250 annually.
As you may know–or perhaps not–Leo Combat has sued the government over exactly this issue, and this new guidance makes things even more pressing. Up until now, there hasn’t been a good definition of “manufacturing” for the purposes of ITAR registration, and most folks have just assumed that the ATF’s guidance (on whether you need at Type 01 or Type 07 FFL) would apply. The latest order, affects people who only need a Type 01.
The guidlines say that hte following activities require registration:
a) Use of any special tooling or equipment upgrading in order to improve the capability of assembled or repaired firearms;
b) Modifications to a firearm that change round capacity;
c) The production of firearm parts (including, but not limited to, barrels, stocks, cylinders, breech mechanisms, triggers, silencers, or suppressors);
d) The systemized production of ammunition, including the automated loading or reloading of ammunition;
e) The machining or cutting of firearms, e.g., threading of muzzles or muzzle brake installation requiring machining, that results in an enhanced capability;
f) Rechambering firearms through machining, cutting, or drilling;
g) Chambering, cutting, or threading barrel blanks; and
h) Blueprinting firearms by machining the barrel.
I have no idea what a) even means. I can say that c) and d) were already covered by the registration requirement, and are therefore not new. However, b), e), f), g) and h) would probably not have required a Type 07 FFL if performed at customer request on a customer’s gun, and therefore most of us would have assumed they are not “manufacturing.” (These activities would have required a Type 07 FFL if performed on guns owned by the licensee before sale).
Obama just created thousands of new paperwork felons–because failure to register is indeed a felony carrying a 20 year sentence.
Hat Tip: the indispensable TTAG