Several Republican senators have sent a strongly worded letter to Secretary of State John Kerry in an attempt to prevent backdoor gun control efforts by the State Department, Breitbart News reports.
The senators, Tom Cotton and Chuck Grassley among them, are upset that the State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) is trying to impose new fees and regulations on gun or ammunition related businesses in a back-handed manner that tries to bypass or at least limit the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms.
One such example is new guidelines from the DDTC that would make some gunsmiths register as firearms "manufacturers" on the grounds that they do work such as changing the sights on a pistol. This means that they would have to pay a fee of $2,250.
The National Rifle Association notes that this hefty fee tries to stymie legal behavior and also threatens to put small commercial gunsmiths out of business.
The senators are especially upset because the DDTC is issuing these directives under the auspices of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), even though the Obama administration promised a reform that would remove firearms and ammunition from DDTC's purview and transfer it to the more business-friendly jurisdiction of the Commerce Department, Breitbart reported.
The purpose of the reform was to strengthen controls on the most sophisticated defense technologies, while reducing unnecessary regulations on less sensitive items, such as firearms and ammunition.
The letter from the senators demands a specific date by which the reform enabling the transfer of businesses dealing in firearms and ammunition to the Commerce Department would be completed and said that "the last thing [the affected small businesses] need is an edict from the federal government imposing crippling fees and requirements which are wholly unnecessary and nonsensical."
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