NRA: Gun Blogs, Videos, Web Forums Threatened By New Obama Regulation

Posted: June 7, 2015 in Politics

internet-guns

Commonly used and unregulated internet discussions and videos about guns and ammo could be closed down under rules proposed by the State Department, amounting to a “gag order on firearm-related speech,” the National Rifle Association is warning.

In updating regulations governing international arms sales, the Department of State is demanding that anyone who puts technical details about arms and ammo on the web first get the OK from the federal government — or face a fine of up to $1 million and 20 years in jail.

According to the NRA, that would include blogs and web forums discussing technical details of common guns and ammunition, the type of info gun owners and ammo reloaders trade all the time.

“Gunsmiths, manufacturers, reloaders, and do-it-yourselfers could all find themselves muzzled under the rule and unable to distribute or obtain the information they rely on to conduct these activities,” said the NRA in a blog posting.

“This latest regulatory assault, published in the June 3 issue of the Federal Register, is as much an affront to the First Amendment as it is to the Second,” warned the NRA’s lobbying shop. “Your action is urgently needed to ensure that online blogs, videos, and web forums devoted to the technical aspects of firearms and ammunition do not become subject to prior review by State Department bureaucrats before they can be published,” it added.

At issue is the internet. The Department of State is updating the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which implement the federal Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The rules govern everything from guns to strategic bombers.

With the new proposal published on June 3, the State Department claims to be ‘clarifying’ the rules concerning ‘technical data’ posted online or otherwise ‘released’ into the ‘public domain.’ To the contrary, however, the proposal would institute a massive new prior restraint on free speech. This is because all such releases would require the ‘authorization’ of the government before they occurred. The cumbersome and time-consuming process of obtaining such authorizations, moreover, would make online communication about certain technical aspects of firearms and ammunition essentially impossible.

Although the proposed changes to the rules are still hazy, the federal government has also taken an interest in 3D printed firearms. This technology can use readily shareable computer files between the end users of this technology. In fact, back in 2013 the government demanded the removal of plans for 3d printed guns from the Internet arguing that by allowing the schematics to be downloaded overseas, the files may be violating the arms export control laws.

Full Story @ [Washington Examiner]

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