ITAR Restrictions Expanding to Cover Firearms Info?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by barnbwt, Jun 7, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    'This new ITAR law makes perfect sense; after what the Rosenbergs did, we'd be idiots not to restrict the disclosure of non-classified technical data that could still be seen as strategically sensitive. It's not like they'd ever seek to restrict mundane stuff like civilian small arms information'
    It certainly appears that is exactly what this new regulation is capable of, if not purpose-built for. The name of the law is International Traffic in Arms Regulations, for Pete's sake; that most certainly includes small arms, and the restrictive means to ensure they are not traded internationally (which, in a globalist society, translates into strict control, generally)

    "i don't see the feds coming after people for discussing guns on the web."
    I have to say I'm growing increasingly worried, not by the content, but by the response of a good 1/3 of commenters I see relating to this issue. "They won't do that" is a horrible assumption to make of government. Are you tired of selective enforcement and executive discretion? That is what you are endorsing when you tolerate a law because it is unenforceable at present.

    They'll never shut down and prosecute bloggers for hosting restricted information (even on foreign servers), huh? That's exactly what is happening to the silkroad scum, so it is far more accurate to say authorities currently lack the will, not the ability to shut down gun forums for some perceived slight and prosecute the operators. I believe something similar happened with regards to US-based WikiLeaks sites, though they shut down after mere cease-and-desist letters.

    I know the regulation is a tough read. I know this is complex and stupid. And I see gun owner after gun owner on forums throw up their hands and say "it couldn't possibly mean that; they aren't that crazy" or "you guys are paranoid wingers" without actually addressing the concerns raised from the plain text. More worrisome, it appears the initial reporting came off as so click-baitey to so many readers (even though the 'ban gun forums' headlines don't seem quite so off the mark according to my estimation), and the subsequent explanations so poorly-worded, long-winded (guilty), and confusing in logical progression that it has been dismissed, and is not remaining a headline topic at many major gun news outlets. And without being properly debunked as a hoax/exaggeration like the other hoaxes/exaggerations

    M855 seemed to light a fire under everyone almost immediately, and I think because it was easy to understand; "the gubbermint says they're armor-piercing and wants to ban them, but they lie and here's why." Our response to the ITAR proposal is a lengthy explanation of what ITAR is (since no one knows/cares), and why the proposal is needlessly expansive and out of step with our long understood constitutional restraints on governmental authority and--

    "BOR-RING! It can't possibly be a real threat if it takes that long to explain. 'All technical gun discussion on the web could be banned,' you say? Why, that's crazy talk. There's no way the law says that."
    ...
    "...What's this? THR received a cease and desist letter from the State Department ordering them to immediately put an end to new discussion regarding technical data pertaining to the manufacture, performance, and use of firearms and ammunition, and are shutting down the equipment and reloading forums as a precaution? The use agreement now forbids discussion of such and is grounds for a permanent ban from the forum?"
    ...
    "Well, it seems AR15.com has been shut down entirely, and the operators subpoenaed for a large list of members who began making threats of violence once the cease and desist was posted --that's to be expected."

    It is worth repeating that our wealth of gun-talk is but a tiny drop in the cesspool that is the general public discourse. App-writing forums probably get more traffic than we do. The vast, vast, vast majority of Americans and our legal/representative leaders do not share our thirst for this information, and most likely find it uninteresting to off-putting (hunting/terminal ballistics threads, anyone?). They will not fight our censorship, they will if anything request it after being exposed to the scarier sounding (as well as legitimately scary) corners of gun forum topics.

    TCB
     
  2. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    Cody says a lot of dumb stuff;
    "Your revolution was fought for less" --we had a lot less to lose in 1776

    And some flat out unhelpful stuff;
    " 'Now that I have this 1500$ mill, I can blow away kindergartners' "
    --Cody Wilson paraphrasing a killer on NPR's radio segment Ghost Guns

    But I think he is not as far off the mark as you might think here;
    "But don't be numb to just what this is. This isn't about firearm industry compliance. It's about divesting you of any free and public access to the means of your own defense; about pruning you from gunsmithing culture and its scientific exchange. Their claim is that gun technology is exclusively commercial and military. You're a pleb and it isn't for you."

    Again, this is a crazy dense/confusing/frustrating rule change to reason through. I implore everyone to put forth the effort to do so. They caught their mistake with the ATF move (it was too easy to describe and counter-argue) so they're using something as treacherous as tax law now. We desperately need some ITAR-trained lawyers helping us form some arguments, but I suspect they are too busy tending to corporate compliance to help in their off time (hard to blame them) or are legally barred from commenting by their employers.

    TCB
     
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    63,319
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    I expect the ITAR lawyers are busy working with their clients on how big a mess the proposed changes might make for them if the changes are too loose or too vague and cost them time and money bringing product to market.
     
  4. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    7,033
    Location:
    Johnson County Texas
    The current administration is Hades bent of passing so gun control laws by hook or Crook.
     
  5. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    Since I haven't seen anyone else post a list of what they think the impacts are, and since it appears calling attention to the impacts is our best bet (though we'll look like tin-foil hyperbolites if we do), any thoughts on what I came up with? Any/all particularly appealing to congress-critters looking to pander, or particularly outrageous but also believable enough to suggest legal vulnerability (of interest to the State Department via comment)?

    I'd really like to get a decent letter hashed out by Friday, folks, but we all need to figure out what the best areas to lodge a complaint are, and how.

    TCB
     
  6. SilentStalker

    SilentStalker Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Somewhere in the U.S., London, or Australia
    No letters yet?
     
  7. ConstitutionCowboy

    ConstitutionCowboy member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    3,230
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Thank you, hso, for bringing this up here. This demonstrates a new tactic by the anti-gun rights crowd. They wish to implement regulations ex post facto to cover what they have been engaged in for some time. I guess they are taking a clue from "Star Wars" where when the Sith lord was asked by the leader of the trade union if their maneuver was legal and he responded with, "I will make it legal."

    Woody
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
  8. rodregier

    rodregier Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    Halifax,NS Canada
  9. rem44m

    rem44m Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    179
    Location:
    Utah
  10. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    I suspect introduction and closing courtesies are wasted on these people. While I think the issues I have laid out here poison the ITAR changes so fully that they should all be withdrawn for the time being, I restricted my complaint to merely the 'firearms' area I have even the slightest bit of understanding. Arguments for opposing the definition of the internet as "public domain" are beyond me, since on its face that concept doesn't seem like such a reach as the twice-removed-from-assisting-the-enemy nonsense the "defense article" changes pose.

    If there is a good explanation for rejecting the rest of the proposed changes (again, I can only assume all are poison at this point) I will gladly submit it as a subsequent comment to this one for review.

    I would also strongly suggest that commenters refrain from complaining how the regulation would 'shut down all the popular gun blogs and gun building sites.' That will do nothing more than confirm the desired impact for the reviewers, regardless the legality/illegality of the intended impact.

    TCB
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
  11. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    Attention, attention; it appears this regulation is 'trending' at the top of the regulations.gov homepage --makes it very easy to find and use. Please tell everyone you know how easy it is to lodge a complaint, whether they think this is a 'real' threat to us or just the NRA fundraising.

    Whenever some troll posits that, respond politely that it doesn't matter since lodging a complaint makes them no money and helps them in no way whatsoever. I would also demand they explain fully why this is not a threat as a growing number of interested people are asserting, and not let them get away with dismissing it out of hand.

    The AR15.com type forums where this issue is raised are absolutely disgusting with the amount of outright denial. All of it stemming from the absolute-first-initial scare-mongering titles like "Obama bans guns on the internet." Were I as conspiracy-minded as I have been purported to be for raising this issue, I might suspect troll 'scoop-breakers' were employed to exaggerate and bring ridicule on the topic early on. Instead, I think it was due to bloggers realizing this is a dry and inscrutable topic, hoping dearly that such scary headlines would convince readers to focus for more than two minutes on the article so they might understand the situation. A bridge too far, I'm sure.

    The lesson: Don't bring this topic up as a bomb-thrower, even if this ITAR change is truly a bombshell! Pose it as a question, or something; ask whether a topic under consideration would be restricted 'if the new ITAR changes were already in effect.' Anything but claims of bans, oppression, tyranny, and gas chambers. Please. Build up to that, if you absolutely must.

    TCB
     
  12. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    Before I submit my comment, I have one question for others who may have done so already, or have used the system in the past.

    The comment-box does not support word-wrapping, so the above text is one line per paragraph :D. Will it be reviewed by readers properly, or will it be truncated at 80 characters or something, and discarded? Would be a very sneaky trick to cut down on comments, but look who we're dealing with ;)

    TCB
     
  13. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,420
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    Nope. It's important to always be professional.
     
  14. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    Fine...

    :p

    TCB
     
  15. RX-178

    RX-178 Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,648
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Okay, we got a basic plan (spread the word and encourage people to send opposing comments), we have some basic recommendations on how to approach and inform people (focus on the 1st amendment issue, don't strain the credibility of the threat by telling uninformed gun owners that the sky is falling), and we have a sample letter.

    I think that's enough to open a full activism thread.
     
  16. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    Flower Mound, TX
    Two things:

    1. I'm wondering a bit if barnbwt's proposed letter doesn't provide just a little too much confirmation to State that the proposed regulation will do exactly what they intend for it to do.

    2. The regulation hinges on export, not speech as it considers anything posted in the internet to be an exported item. In this regards, the options are to either regulate the material being exported, or regulate the vehicle. If regulating the material fails, the obvious next move is full govt. regulation of the internet. With the court order supporting the FCC asserting authority to control the internet like any other public utility going into effect today, the ground work has been layed.
     
  17. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    Here was my thinking for the comment (which are part of public record, btw)
    -We see what you are doing
    -This is what it woukd accomllish
    -We know why you are doing it
    -It is illegal on its face
    -Knock it off (or suffer the consequences is implied)

    It might be fun to suggest in your letters that a strike down of this rule change could extend to a larger dismantling of ITAR, but didn't think it believable enough to mention.

    TCB
     
  18. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    Here's my Congress Critter Letter

    Included a bit more 'inflammatory language' --"Digital Assault Weapons Ban"-- that will hopefully give them the proper perspective on this, as well as a description of the sort of opposition being built right now against it (name-dropped the NRA for good measure), and proposed a vehicle for mooting this rule change beyond congress's direct authority (strip ITAR of authority to regulate NFA-compliant firearms/information, or firearms 'stuff' in general). Also some good 'ol buttkissing at the end, there ;)

    Hopefully I'll get some sort of informative response from my Texas reps shortly.

    TCB
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  19. danez71

    danez71 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,460
    Location:
    CA,AZ,CA,TX
    Totally agree. This is a 'divide and conquer' play.

    Demonizing the gun has worked fairly well for them to promote restrictions.

    Demonize ideas & knowledge - Then restrict the ideas & knowledge.


    With the way the Patriot Act was trimmed, they needed a way to fill the void. :scrutiny:

    Truly this can lead to scary things.
     
  20. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    Think about it this way: if they weren't trolling boards for worrisome information already, they sure as heck would be if this passes. This simply gives them authority for the next step; enforcement.

    BTW;
    Anyone one here ever get random PMs from new posters with no posts asking for technical information on firearms they've posted about? I have, and from goobers with poor English skills, too. What are the chances they could be foreign persons? Prepare to think carefully about what you say...

    TCB
     
  21. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    You forgot the secret courts issuing general warrants, but yeah, it's gettin' pretty ridiculous.

    Hopefully this means our system is about to take a hard turn towards libertarianism (recent grassroots political developments suggest this a very real possibility)

    TCB
     
  22. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    Flower Mound, TX
    Got one just this week about the R51. I found it...curious. :scrutiny: (but probably better discussed in a separate thread so as not to derail this one)

    OK, that makes sense as far as it goes, but as you said, this is State. They are heavy hitters. And of all the double-talking government entities, they are the most experiencec and proficient at double-talk. Or triple-talk. Nothing they way is what it seems on the surface, and the most obvious negatives are probably there to focus resistance away from the true purpose and even channel that resistance into support for something else they want to accomplish. My concern is that we haven't yet identified everything they are trying to do with this.

    I'm sure the British Parliament would have loved to have had a similar way to suppress the Colonies' Committees of Correspondence. :eek:
     
  23. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    Seeing as the official justification is "becuz gunz and we can't control the internetz," I suspect locking down gunnies is the real motivation. I'm certain the actual feint is the convenient introduction of loud and obnoxious gun bills with mo shot at passage at the same time.

    Somehow gunnies will believe all guns could be made to include electronic locks, but locking down gun building forums is a bridge too far :scrutiny:

    TCB
     
  24. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    I have done some more digging, and I do not feel better about this. I'll try to break out the chain of references so it might possibly make sense. It is disgusting how clearly obfuscated this whole process is.

    More research into ITAR has revealed;
    -There is a catch-all "Miscellaneous" category at the end of 27 CFR 411.21 (ITAR munitions list)
    -Items may be added to it by agreement between the Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense (all reporting to the President)
    -It appears this portion of the statute was amended recently (as best I can tell, the president himself previously had to sign off on the determination)

    I have a feeling this is the authority by which Cody Wilson was shut down, since no other categories properly describe the technical CAD data he was posting online. A quick conference call, and your pen is sanctioned. My understanding of the proposed rule change the subject of this thread, is that the process by which Cody was shut down will be made official and broadened greatly, subject instead to mere ATF director discretion. By classifying technical info as a defense article, CAD files would be covered by Section 1 at the top of 27 CFR 411.21 "Firearms." The theory is this change would also knock Wilson's suit against the ITAR back to square one, since technically a 'new' regulation would be responsible for his claimed damages, technically the responsibility of a different government body (the ATF instead of the State Dept, which is moronic since they both report to POTUS at the end of the day)

    ******************************

    I would love for someone with experience with federal regulations to weigh in, here, since deciphering the assorted codes and references is practically impossible by design. I am a pure layman, but I am troubled greatly by what I see proposed, and have not seen one shred of convincing argument that I am misinterpreting, yet. Repeatedly I've been told that ITAR does not apply to individuals (it most certainly does) and that our government would never be so brazen as to try enforcing this as written. That's it, and I do not find it reassuring.

    TCB
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
  25. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    Two Weeks Left, Folks. That's All. Only 7000 Comments.

    For the love of all that is gunnie, please post something in opposition in the Federal Register.

    Found an older article about a press conference in which these changes were "explained". Hadn't seen this since last looking into the topic.

    Hearing it straight from the horses mouth, it appears;
    -Private citizens posting online will be subject to the regs (obviously)
    -All "technical data and detailed schmatics" for firearms or ammunition will be controlled by ITAR
    -Generic discussion or pictures of firearms, and data already in the public domain will not be covered (so I guess THR has absolutely nothing to worry about)

    "Well, I go back to the – also the point that general descriptions – that is general, not technical and detailed ones – general descriptions or public discussions and imagery of defense articles would – have never been subject to these regulations and wouldn’t —" Mr. Rathke

    So basically, it would appear we could continue to have caliber/platform war threads, and fantasize about the end of the world, and complain about gun laws. But we would be unable to discuss (or even access, since it would be closed off to us) the detailed function of cutting-edge weapons systems, or new sight/targeting technology, new methods or techniques for producing guns (or accessories) ourselves, or even new projectile or ammunition technology.

    Prepare for moderators of all boards to censor discussion of new technology or manufacturing, like they currently do illegal modification of firearms. The potential liability is too high for them not to.

    TCB
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice