Trump to Alleviate ITAR Obligations for Firearm and Ammunition Manufacturers and Gunsmiths

As our readers are aware, for almost a decade, I have blogged about the obligation of firearm and ammunition manufacturers to register with the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC) under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which implement the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), as well as, DDTC’s stepped up enforcement against Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) starting in 2012. More recently, the DDTC issued guidance, which placed many gunsmiths out of business because it declared that most gunsmithing activities constituted manufacturing, which in turn required registration at a cost of $2,250, per year, in addition to the compliance costs. After years of requests that firearms and ammunition under Categories I, II and III of the U.S. Munitions List be moved over under the Department of Commerce, today the Department of State has published on its website proposed regulatory changes, which will afford a 45 day comment period, once formally published in the Federal Register. While the proposed changes are monumental, as described below, there are concerns regarding the proposed regulatory changes, which necessitate that those effected obtain competent counsel to timely file comments for DDTC’s consideration. DDTC.jpg

The 42 page proposal provides significant changes in that non-automatic and semi-automatic firearms and ammunition, as well as parts and defense services related thereto, that are currently regulated by Category I, II or III of the U.S. Munitions List will be moved over to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which are administered by the Department of Commerce and where there does not exist a registration requirement for the mere manufacture of controlled items, nor is there an annual fee (however, licensing requirements for exports will remain but under EAR). However, fully automatic firearms and ammunition for linked or beltfed firearms will remain under ITAR.

While the proposal is extremely beneficial for many FFLs and it is not surprising that fully automatic firearms are remaining under ITAR, for some unknown reason, silencers, all silencer parts and defense services related thereto, will will remain under ITAR (however, flash suppressors will be moved over under EAR). Additionally, magazine manufacturers that manufacture magazines that have a capacity in excess of 50 rounds must also continue to register under ITAR. This places a monumental burden on small and mid-sized silencer and magazine manufacturers, especially when one considers the compliance requirements and costs, beyond the yearly registration cost of $2,250.

If you or your company wants to file a comment requesting that DDTC consider moving silencers, large capacity magazines, or other items over under EAR, contact Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG) to discuss your options, as FICG has a number of attorneys with the necessary experience and understanding of the issues surrounding Administrative Law, the Gun Control Act, the National Firearms Act, and the Arms Export Control Act to ensure that any comment is properly and thorough prepared.

For those interested in some of the comments that FICG has drafted and filed on behalf of Industry Members and itself in opposition to rulemaking by ATF, see:

FICG Files Comment in Opposition to ATF – 41P – ATF’s proposed (and later enacted) rule to impose additional burdens on fictitious entity applications.

FICG Files Comment on behalf of David Goldman, Esq. of in Opposition to ATF-41P

FICG Files Comment in Opposition to ATF 51P – ATF’s proposed rule to ATF’s to amend the definitions of “adjudicated as a mental defective” and “committed to a mental institution.”

FICG Files Comment in Opposition to ATF 29P on Behalf of Dead Air Armament – ATF’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking regarding silencer engravings.

FICG Files Comment in Opposition to ATF’s Proposed Changes to the 4473 Form


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

20 thoughts on “Trump to Alleviate ITAR Obligations for Firearm and Ammunition Manufacturers and Gunsmiths

  1. No manufacturer of ammunition or firearms of any kind, including machines guns, should be required to register under ITAR unless they are actually exporting items, you know, INTENTIONALLY.


  2. It seems to me this ITAR registration and the associated fee is unconstitutional for its a tax and violates the 2nd Amendment, clause shall not be infringed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m and American living in New Zealand , exiled because of the illegal activities of the Clinton Presidency . I’m also a 5 time US National Rifle champion that continues to do gun work in NZ . Getting parts out of the US has been the stupidest act of bureaucracy ever imaginably. Many parts makes in the US refused to participate in ITAR and lost huge amounts of sales or accessories to foreign shoots as myself . In process it created a demand for foreign businesses to make parts that could not be shipped out of the US , which in turn contradicts the limp intent for ITAR. So in many cases parts were sourced from non ITAR compliant countries after all the hassle. ITAR was to prevent weapons movements internationally , well if Russia , China or the US engage in that trade who stops them ? So the sole intent for ITAR was for the State Dept to sell / via bribes rights to sell military goods to specified countries with the ability to stop any companies that would not pay the bribes to the State Dept ,,, aka Hillary Clinton !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello! have always like your website and articles. Whatever happened to the ITAR changes? Is the change in place/almost there/DOA?


      1. I’m trying to keep track, but it’s difficult to follow without constantly bugging Ms Battista. The data collection isn’t being tracked on the OPM dashboard (, and seems to between the initial data collection – due 3/14/19 and the second data collection after OPM review. I don’t know if State hasn’t submitted an ICR to OPM or if OPM hasn’t reviewed it yet.

        This lays out part of the process:

        Read the answer to Q. How does an agency obtain OMB approval of an information collection? from


  5. I was interested in progress updates on the ITAR issues also, It’s going on three years now. I spoke with and emailed the NRA ILA today. The response I received was the generic ” We’re working on that” I was expecting this would have been resolved before the Democrats took back Congress. Why wasn’t this resolved when we had a Republican President, Senate, and Congress? Good luck getting it done now.


    1. NRA ILA might think they are working it, but I don’t see it. There was no coordinated comment submission, no monthly Congressional requests, no FIOAs, etc. Any third rate left wing cause celebre of the week gets more attention by a bunch of kids with pink hair.


  6. Its pretty obvious ITAR is being abused as a weapon against small time businesses. I wouldnt be surprised if its been big name gun/ammo mfgs backing this use of it against competition. If I were a ruthless sociopath MBA for those companies, its what I’d do.


  7. Hello, another ITAR question. i have 07with SOT 2, to proto type and test of a new MG design, is ITAR registration required?


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