The Pending ITAR Mess…

For a few years I have designed and sold tools for the safe disassembly and assembly of Kalashnikova variants. The first tool designed was the GS-0001 and it came into existence as I (angrily) attempted to safely disassemble a batch of AK74 rifle kits I purchased. These had torch-cut barrels that are commonplace now and I could not improvise a safe way to disassemble them. I made a photograph of my work and sold twelve (12) of these during the next twenty-four (24) hours.

On 22, July 2016 the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls aka DDTC made additions to the International Trafficking (In) Arms Regulations aka ITAR. These additions were perhaps written as a “clarification” of what activity is covered by ITAR but they are anything but that. ITAR has been around a long time per an executive order written many years ago. It’s intent is good – to regulate the trafficking of arms from the USA to other lands but changes over the years have caused it to be applied to entities and persons who make only domestic sales.

The new language is simple and short yet all-encompassing in regards to everyone who manufactures or modifies any part of an arm. That’s right – there is no specific language to indicate that the proposed regulations are aimed solely at 07 FFL’s or for that matter 01 FFL’s, and neither is other industry singled out – industry that has never required a FFL for operation. So, what does that mean for me?

This becomes enforceable on 31, December 2016 unless it is walked back. Several members of the U.S. Congress have signed on to a letter directing the U.S. Secretary of State to rescind this new language. Additionally, some funding has been threatened. But so far, there is not a published solution. For me, (in my opinion) it means that I cannot “make” or “touch” any parts after 30, December 2016 unless I am declared “exempt” by the DDTC or choose to register and pay the annual tax. Personally I await an outcome from the efforts by industry professionals as well as our Congress and I will keep the website updated.


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