In a constant barrage of Executive Orders, Barrack Obama recently signed a mandate attempting to limit all gunsmiths in the US by imposing regulations and penalties befitting a manufacturer. The sweeping gun control measure affects new and aftermarket upgrades of any firearm as described in the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), which includes gun magazines.
As with prior executive actions on guns, the administration released its dictate suddenly and without any notice. It was released on July 22nd – at the beginning of the Democratic Convention – allowing it to slip under the public radar.
This order requires that anybody who engages in the business of “manufacturing” a defense article to register as a manufacturer and pay a registration fee, which is currently $2,250 per year for new applicants. It refers to the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), which is primarily responsible for administering the AECA. The DDTC contends that “gunsmithing” also includes very simple procedures that do not require cutting, drilling or machining.
Iowa gunsmith Mike Ware told The Daily Caller, “When you have expanded the definition of manufacturing to include enhancements and the function of the weapon, you are basically opening the door to everything you do would make you a manufacturer.”
Ware noted that making any type of adjustment could put a gunsmith “in jeopardy of getting fined, going to jail or having his livelihood pulled because he is some sort of felon”. He said, “By their definition, loosely interpreted, you could say that you are a manufacturer.”
Ware continued to explain, “Short version is this is discouraging to people in the business and a lot of people just direct to the Clinton years and just decide ‘the heck with it and I don’t want to deal with it anymore.’
These regulations and license fees will severely limit and discourage gunsmiths who are usually small business owners averaging a salary of around $15 an hour. This will also impact the availability to firearm owners to purchase or upgrade their existing weapons by limiting competition and increasing prices.
Here is the full report as issued from the DDTC in pdf file format.