Is this the end of TFB?

The State Department is considering expanding rules to prevent US manufacturers, or US citizens, from publishing unclassified technical information relating to the manufacture of any weapons, including firearms and ammunition. If the information is distributed in anyway that a non-citizen could access it (which essentially means any transmission of the information to the general public even if the information never leaves the USA) it would need to be first cleared first by the State Department. Publishing includes, but not limited to, blog posts, posting comments on blogs, gun forums, in books, on DVDs and on Youtube.

This could spell the end of TFB, other non-political guns blogs, reduce the type of content gun magazines would publish, prevent the publication of books on gunsmithing and make your favorite gun forum resemble a police state where moderators censor any vague mention of manufacturing. No manufacturer would be willing to talk to us (or any other publication) about how their products are made. At best they would tell us the basic specifications.

Here are some extracts from the June 3 issue of the Federal Register, which I have read in full …

 Any information that
meets this definition is ‘‘public
domain.’’ The definition also retains an
exemplary list of information that has
been made available to the public
without restriction and would be
considered ‘‘public domain.’’ These
include magazines, periodicals and
other publications available as
subscriptions, publications contained in
libraries, information made available at
a public conference, meeting, seminar,
trade show, or exhibition, and
information posted on public Web sites.

Paragraph (b) of the revised definition
explicitly sets forth the Department’s
requirement of authorization to release
information into the ‘‘public domain.’’
Prior to making available ‘‘technical
data’’ or software subject to the ITAR,
the U.S. government must approve the

The requirements of paragraph (b) are
not new. Rather, they are a more explicit
statement of the ITAR’s requirement
that one must seek and receive a license
or other authorization from the
Department or other cognizant U.S.
government authority to release ITAR
controlled ‘‘technical data,’’

So what is “Technical Data”

. . . [O]nly that portion of [technical data]
that is peculiarly responsible for achieving or
exceeding the controlled performance levels,
characteristics, or functions.

…. ‘‘technical data’’ is now
defined, in part, as information
‘‘required’’ for the ‘‘development’’ or
‘‘production’’ of a ‘‘defense article, …

In other words, the color of your gun and the fact that it is made out of polymer is not technical data, but the barrel length, barrel rifling, and the type of polymer used would be considered technical data. Tutorials on making your own guns would definitely be banned. They go onto say …

The Department does not believe this
rulemaking will have an annual effect
on the economy of $100,000,000 or
more, nor will it result in a major
increase in costs or prices for
consumers, individual industries,
federal, state, or local government
agencies, or geographic regions, or have
significant adverse effects on
competition, employment, investment,
productivity, innovation, or on the
ability of United States-based
enterprises to compete with foreignbased
enterprises in domestic and
foreign markets.

They are wrong, it will affect my employment, the employment of all the TFB staff and employment throughout the online and offline gun publishing industry.

This is what the NRA-IL has to say about this issue …

Even as news reports have been highlighting the gun control provisions of the Administration’s “Unified Agenda” of regulatory objectives (see accompanying story), the Obama State Department has been quietly moving ahead with a proposal that could censor online speech related to firearms. 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. 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.

To understand the proposal and why it’s so serious, some background information is necessary.

For the past several years, the Administration has been pursuing a large-scale overhaul of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which implement the federal Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The Act regulates the movement of so-called “defense articles” and “defense services” in and out of the United States. These articles and services are enumerated in a multi-part “U.S. Munitions List,” which covers everything from firearms and ammunition (and related accessories) to strategic bombers. The transnational movement of any defense article or service on the Munitions List presumptively requires a license from the State Department. Producers of such articles and services, moreover, must register with the U.S. Government and pay a hefty fee for doing so.

Also regulated under ITAR are so-called “technical data” about defense articles. These include, among other things, “detailed design, development, production or manufacturing information” about firearms or ammunition. Specific examples of technical data are blueprints, drawings, photographs, plans, instructions or documentation.

In their current form, the ITAR do not (as a rule) regulate technical data that are in what the regulations call the “public domain.” Essentially, this means data “which is published and which is generally accessible or available to the public” through a variety of specified means. These include “at libraries open to the public or from which the public can obtain documents.” Many have read this provision to include material that is posted on publicly available websites, since most public libraries these days make Internet access available to their patrons.

The ITAR, however, were originally promulgated in the days before the Internet. Some State Department officials now insist that anything published online in a generally-accessible location has essentially been “exported,” as it would be accessible to foreign nationals both in the U.S. and overseas.

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.

Penalties for violations are severe and for each violation could include up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Civil penalties can also be assessed. Each unauthorized “export,” including to subsequent countries or foreign nationals, is also treated as a separate violation.

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. Prior restraints of the sort contemplated by this regulation are among the most disfavored regulations of speech under First Amendment case law.

But then, when did the U.S. Constitution ever deter Barack Obama from using whatever means are at his disposal to exert his will over the American people and suppress firearm ownership throughout the nation?

Time is of the essence! Public comment will be accepted on the proposed gag order until August 3, 2015. Comments may be submitted online at or via e-mail at with the subject line, ‘‘ITAR Amendment—Revisions to Definitions; Data Transmission and Storage.”

Finally, please contact your U.S. Senators and Member of Congress. Urge them to oppose the State Department’s attempt to censor online speech concerning the technical aspects of firearms and ammunition. Use the “Write Your Lawmakers” feature on our website or call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.

TFB will be making a submission. Over the next couple of weeks I will be talking to fellow editors on how best to proceed.

Is this how TFB ends? With no fanfare, just one man’s signature on an unconstitutional document?

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Vitsaus

    First amendment should handle this one. Plenty of folks on Youtube, etc.. making money off gun related stuff, they’ll go to court.

    • Count_Iblis

      Obama does not care about the constitution, he never has. Nothing will stand in the way of his vision.

      • MrEllis


        • Kivaari

          Obama has been very open about his dislike of the restrictions put on government. He calls them negative rights. Since he is so much smarter than we the little people, we should just let him run things as he sees fit. It is a common thread with the liberal elite. They all know better then the ignorant masses. King’s and dictators know they are so smart.

          • Bill

            So what law school did you teach at?

          • Kivaari

            Bill, I suspect I learned more constitutional law in the police academy than he has ever taught. Have you seen him describe the constitution as too limiting on government. How its negative restrictions on government is “just too confining”. That’s why the document exists, it is supposed to limit government.

          • MrEllis


          • Bill

            Oh, a Strict Constructionist. I’ve always wondered, if the Constitution is perfect as written, why do we have Amendments, or a process for amending it?

          • HSR47

            A point of order: Calling them “negative liberties” is not a sign of disrespect, since it is actually the correct term. The U.S. Constitution is a charter of negative liberties because they are defined in the context of the government being unable to restrict them.

            From Wikipedia: “Negative liberty is freedom from interference by other people. Negative liberty is primarily concerned with freedom from external restraint and contrasts with positive liberty (the possession of the power and resources to fulfil one’s own potential). According to Thomas Hobbes, “a free man is he that in those things which by his strength and wit he is able to do is not hindered to do what he hath the will to do” (Leviathan, Part 2, Ch. XXI; thus alluding to liberty in its negative sense).”

            While I’m not a fan of the current occupant of the Oval Office, there’s no getting around the fact that “restriction put on government” actually ARE negative liberties.

          • Bill

            Dammit, your letting “facts” get in the way of drama.

        • FOAD

          Prove you’re right.

          • Bill

            That isn’t the way it works. If you claim that there is a vast left wing conspiracy to put people in prison for youtube videos of their girlfriend getting knocked on her ass shooting a shotgun, the proof is on you to prove your case

      • RickH

        Yeah, like he’s done so much to deter gun ownership. Sheesh, get real.

        • Kivaari

          He’s tried to do a lot to harm our community. At least congress fought him a few times. ATF/ICE/DOS has violated the laws frequently, at the harm to Americans and nationals of Mexico.

      • He sure likes executive orders.

        • Kevin Harron

          Obama has had at most, 147 Exec orders per term. Bush Sr. had 166 in his term, Clinton had 200 in his 1st term, G.W. Bush had 173/118 in terms 1 & 2. Obama is about average with #s of exec orders. C’mon Phil. Y’all can do better than that.

          • Kevin Harron

            LOL, I just looked. FDR had 3721 exec orders.

          • Kivaari

            FDR hated the constitution.

          • Bill

            And look at the horror his presidency rained down on us as a nation.

            That was sarcasm.

          • Sianmink

            The difference is the scope of said executive orders. Most are things of no consequence, ex: establishing National Hotdog Appreciation Day.
            The number doesn’t matter, unless you’re counting the number of substantive ones.

            #politicsnotfirearms #thisthread

          • Dan


          • Very true—– Talk about content not numbers.

          • Grindstone50k

            So, what’s the tally of the substantive ones, then?

          • Kivaari

            Every president re-issues, like a continuing resolution, functions of government. They are pretty much what is expected. Follow his line on immigration and gun rules for border states and he violates even his own words.

          • TonysTake

            I take it you love the guy and his brand of socialism.

        • Bill

          I’m pretty sure Obama’s EOs are outnumbered by his drone strikes. Seriously.

      • ryanwazhere

        Who ever said Obama was involved. Come on don’t be the stereotypical white American. Its obviously some random congress representatives

        • Kivaari

          DOS, John Kerry and his toadies.

        • There is an executive order attached to it if you read the federal register. The text is even in contrast blue with the order number.

          • All the Raindrops

            It’s amazing the number of people here arguing, in essence, for their own demise of rights.

    • Avery

      I would even take it as part of journalism. There’s been a lot of talk about the M4’s failure rates in the non-gun-focused media in the past and the whole G36 debacle, which is largely about the specifics of a gun part failing, was brought to light by the German news media, so I’d imagine that their American equivalents would be incensed that the government is proactively censoring them from discussing any stories on armaments or their procurement.

      ITAR also a freaking joke. If someone isn’t getting from us, they’re getting it from someone cheaper.

      • Zachary marrs

        as per your m4 and g36 comment

        Not really.

        Aside from a few ak fanboys, and the few people who care about the g36 (and didn’t already know about the shortcomings of the design) tjere really isn’t all that much interest in those subjects.

        I’d wager over 90% of the “m4 sucks” claims are from people who have never seen one in real life, same with the g36 complaints

        • Avery

          The point wasn’t about the few people who care about the G36, but it would be difficult to report on something like the whole Bundeswehr/H&K fiasco about it without mentioning what caused it. I’m pretty sure that if we had an infantry weapon system that suddenly lost accuracy past 200m when it got hot, along with experiments and data, that wouldn’t fall under the same umbrella?

      • Ethan

        Tell that to my last company which paid out $112,000,000 in fines to the State Department for a single ITAR violation. =)

        ITAR is a joke to you because you don’t have to deal with it right now. Right now, no one does unless they (typically) work in the Aerospace or Weapons industries.

        I have watched companies be instantly SHUT DOWN and stormed by federal agents over suspected ITAR violations.

        Don’t get me wrong, ITAR is a very good thing, but expanding it to essentially encompass the entire public domain is a TERRIBLE IDEA.

        • Bill

          So, what exactly did you do to rack up that kind of fine?

        • Kivaari

          Too bad Clinton wasn’t hammered for his giving the Chinese missile secrets.

    • MrEllis

      It’s a copyright issue. Nothing will come of it, if people understood what the published paper was for they wouldn’t even be click baiting. As for the false sense of drama, I expected better from TFB. Just lean in and embrace the ultra-right at this point.

      • Patriot


        • MrEllis


      • lucusloc

        It is not copyright, it is ITAR. The new rule expands ITAR to everything firearm related. There are a lot of really knowledgeable people who think this rule will be used to target political opponents and put a stranglehold on gun culture. This rule absolutely would give the feds the ability to target TFB, youtubers and regular forum goes if they so choose. I would expect this would be a broad rule strategically employed. Cory Wilson, for example, will go to jail. They will pass the rule, fail to enforce it for as long as it takes people like you to say “See, nothing happened!” and then enforce the rule against people they see as “key” as quietly as possible. That is the MO, and we have seen it work this way countless times before, in this industry and others.

        • MrEllis

          ITAR isn’t the main drive behind this, it’s not even a major political issue. I doubt the president even knows about this. There are 6 million Americans who think space lizards control the world. You speak in if if if, not in the reality of what this is or what it is about. Do you hear Colt or Ruger up in arms about this?

          It’s not going to pass, it’s not even in a phase were it could, it’s a suggestion. Drama queens love this but the rest of us see it what it is for.

          • Ethan

            You clearly don’t understand what ITAR is or how it works.
            I do. I work with it every day.

            I highly recommend you do some more research before browbeating people for raising the alarm on a very REAL and RELEVANT issue. You are putting your ignorance on display here.

            I jump through hoops every day to avoid going to jail and getting hit with millions of dollars in fines because of ITAR. You would wish this to be expanded to every online gun forum and magazine? Because that’s what’s being proposed here – subjecting public non-classified speech to ITAR regulations.

          • Very true and to me very scary they would even consider trying it.

          • MrEllis

            Not criminal, it’s civil. It’s trade law. And you are woefully misunderstanding what is being proposed here, your bias is only seeing what you wish.

          • Ethan

            Again, you are simply wrong. It is VERY criminal, ask the Saber Defense exec who are still serving their prison sentence.


            I’m genuinely trying to have a rational discussion with you, but it seems like you haven’t invested the tiniest amount of effort to research the subject before taking a strongly held view on it. This is at least the 4th thing you posted that is laughably wrong and easy to prove so.

            What gives?

          • MrEllis

            You are far from rational you are very emotionally invested in me at this point. Divulging secrets and publishing a blog about AR-15s are two entirely different things. They were charged under the ACEA, which ITAR attempts to translate by regulation and no criminal penalty is in ITAR. They were charged under ACEA because it is codified and carries a penalty. You may think they are the same, but there is a distinct difference between what one is and what one does. In your desire to parse and show me up you’re not following your very specific guidelines for what can be submitted as “truth” on the internet.

            Also, way stalker creepy at this point.

          • Ethan

            The Sabre example was, in fact, criminal charges that were brought about through attempting to avoid ITAR restrictions. The name is immaterial – they went to jail for trying to avoid ITAR regs.

          • Bill

            So, prison is exactly where they should be if they intentionally tried to violate ITAR regulations, right?

          • Ethan

            Absolutely – no argument here. But it is a Criminal offense to violate ITAR, not civil – that’s all I was saying.

          • MrEllis

            ITAR contains zero criminal enforcement, it simple does not contain any criminal penalties. You’d know that if you were the expert you claim. ITAR is never used to prosecute, ever. People are prosecuted under U.S.C., the federal penal code in essence, that contains the A.E.C.A. You may cry, “technicality” but that is what this all is.

            The intent has never been to stop blogs or magazines from writing articles, there isn’t even a regulation that forbids it and what is being suggested has nothing to do with that. It’s a clumsy misinterpretation of a suggested regulatory change that is based on standard practices done since the beginning of our nation.

            Your complete disregard for facts when it suits you, your passive/aggressive manner and hypocritical insistence on the burden of proof makes you like an internet warrior. Self proclaimed victories and self victimization are the hallmarks.

          • lucusloc

            Wow, I guess that maximum of 10 years in prison for each violation is just a civil penalty. Everything you have said about this topic has been wrong. ITAR does include civil penalties, at the discretion of the DoS. It also includes sever criminal penalties, should the prosecutor choose to pursue those. Which one you get slapped with is not up to you, it is up to the DoS. If they do not like you they can pursue a criminal case against you. If they just want to shut you up they can simply hit you with civil penalties that can total in the millions (no joke, one single instance of an export violation can violate multiple statutes, resulting in layers of fines).

            Seriously dude, do even a trivial amount of research before you post. You already look like an idiot, it would be a shame for you to continue that trend.

          • lucusloc

            You do know how ITAR (DoS) and other agencies (ATF, DoJ etc.) “pass” stuff right? They write it, post it for comments, and then implement it. The only way it will not “pass” is if we all make a holy stink about it. If we say nothing, the DOS will only have a few comments they will be legally required to “address” in vague terms before implementation. Really the only barrier to this is all of us writing calm, legible and rational comments that they will be required (by law) to address. And you basically get one comment per “entity” so Ruger etc. as a company only get to submit one letter each, same as an individual. Since this issue is only a few day old I expect a few more days at leaast before we start getting comments from major manufacturers (if they have the guts to comment at all, some assuredly do not). They do not get to lobby or send representatives to talk to the DoS. They can lobby a congresscritter if they want, but that would only put into effect an after-the-fact fix. The new regulation wold be in effect until a legislative fix came in. The in between time will be a very dangerous time for outspoken individuals that the DoS does not like.

            How can you say ITAR is not the main drive behind this, when it is literally a change to ITAR defining pretty much all speech about firearms as regulated? Did you read the report?

            As to weather Obama knew about this, personally directed this or signed off on this, who is to say. It is ultimately irrelevant, because the DoS is his department, and its actions are 100% his responsibility. If this is an action that he does not want taken it is 100% on him to order a stop to it. As long as he does not do that he, at the very least, tacitly endorses this action.

            This is not conspiracy level stuff, this is how our bureaucracy works. The law is there for anyone to read (and hopefully comment on). Did you think the M855 ban was a conspiracy theory as well? Did you know *literally the only* reason it was not implemented was the over 10,000 comments by concerned individuals? That is also the only way to defeat this change to ITAR. Go comment fool, before it is too late (but first read the damn report, so you dont look like an even bigger idiot).

          • MrEllis

            You have never stopped any law, code or regulation from being enacted. trust me, if they intend to they will and can. This publication being cited is basically transcribed spit-balling.

          • lucusloc

            Ok, I am curious to know why they did not follow through with the ban on M855 then. I am also curious what you think this change in scope to ITAR actually means. I have read through your other comments, I do not think you actually know what ITAR actually is. . .

          • Ethan

            You were saying?..

          • MrEllis

            Boy you seems stalky at this point. I posted 40 times you’ve posted in response to them all it seems. I addressed it above. I’ll just point there.

          • Ethan

            Alright then, I’ll just point to the post immediately below that where reality intrudes and you are proven laughably, absurdly wrong.

            You lack even a basic understanding of the material you are trying to argue about. Please – just stop.

          • MrEllis

            It’s doubtful you are able. But this does prove my internet warrior theory about you obviously correct.

          • n0truscotsman

            Very well said.

            If you cannot see where something like this can go wrong, then I dont know what to say.

          • I know I can’t get you to admit you might be wrong on some areas so I won’t even try. I just posted from the federal register. There is an executive order attached so yes Obama knows about it.

          • MrEllis

            This shows a complete lack of context on your part. But of course you think the president is out to ruin the country, so your bias drives your “journalism.” It’s absurd to think the president is involved in every single aspect of every single agency in America. His executive order, read it in full, it’s about house keeping. Turns out every president does this. It gives all agencies permission to bring regulations and rules into line with new laws and treaties. As for the FR, it’s 101 level stuff to know what that is for and how often it’s used to spitball or seek clarification. It’s published, by law, so there is public record of intent and discourse.

            Your bias is showing and it’s bringing the ugly out on this site. When it’s like every other gun site and you treat progressives and anyone left of William F. Buckley as the enemy don’t leave your subtitle in place. The entire premise of this piece doesn’t focus on actual intent or the reality of execution, just a bunch of subjective hand wringing and pandering to a base that is firmly right of center. Throw in a Benghazi at this point.

        • You got it!

        • n0truscotsman

          You are among the only handful right about this.

          Posting pics about that stamp steel component AR lower? nope.
          Manufacturing anything 3D printed to include schematics? nope.

          so on and so fourth. Unacceptable to me, even if blogs aren’t specifically targeted for posting more “benign” content.

          • Ethan

            Respectfully, do you have any experience in an industry that falls under ITAR regulations? If you did you would know this is not the case..

          • n0truscotsman

            In what way am I incorrect? i certainly_hope_ im wrong in this case.

            This has the appearance of expanding what is covered under ITAR, which is potentially disastrous.

          • Ethan

            Perhaps I misunderstood. I was just saying that pictures of stamped receivers, schematics, etc are most definitely covered by ITAR.

      • Well put it this way–Steve and I both read the same document and it is concerning to say the least. If you haven’t read the entire document your conclusion is a bit premature.

        • Gregory Allen

          It literally says nothing about punishing publications for publishing public domain information, though. It only talks about those who release information not already in the public domain without proper authentication. It defines public domain information as what has been released into the USML or by an authenticated source. It even protects someone who re-publishes information from a non-authenticated source (so, basically anything you have ever posted about a piece of firearm kit in your blog). It seems like someone read the NRA release first, and it colored their interpretation of the article.

          This is absolutely nothing new.

          • George you are incorrect. This is all about the RELEASE of information into the public domain. In other words if we publish an article about machining an AR-15 receiver, we would be in breach of ITAR.

          • Gregory Allen

            If you release it without the company saying so first, then you are in breach. If they tell you without publishing it official channels, then they are in breach. It strikes me more as copyright protection.

            I really recommend you try reading it without even considering the NRA release. There is really nothing new as part of the Department’s release.

          • steveday72

            What you need to bear in mind is – if it can be interpreted as an assault on our hobby, then it can certainly be used as such.

            The Federal Government routinely uses new interpretations of existing laws to prosecute (and persecute) people, even when those laws were never intended for such use. It is why we must be very aware of deliberate vagueness and hand waving when any new law/rule is introduced.

          • It’s not a trend at all and there won’t be a change of direction but when they talk about playing with the law like this we are obligated to get the news out.

          • P. Henry

            And as someone who comes to TFB for “firearms, not politics,” I support you in posting this news release. This is news, not politics. This law, if enacted, influences the discussion of firearms.

          • It surely does—–

          • MrEllis


          • FOAD

            I’ll consider reading your post if you’ll sign a waiver admitting that you are not an ATF, FBI, CIA, NSA, an agent of any government TLA (Three Letter Acronym) agency, don’t work for the federal government, or aren’t a part of the Hillary Clinton election campaign.

            “Firearms, not politics” isn’t a guarantee, it isn’t a shield from all things that a gun related yet tangentially linked to politics; it’s a slogan and a (sometimes) editorial policy.

          • Gregory Allen

            Jesus, listen to yourself.

          • FOAD

            Now what?

            (What was I supposed to hear?)

          • Bill

            Not a waiver, you want a sworn affidavit. And you left out the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Railroad Retirement Boards.

            That’s the same thinking hookers use: “you have to tell me if you’re a cop or you can’t arrest me.”

          • voldamane .

            Close, it is about the release of information by the State Department. Employees in the State Department need pay attention to these regulations.

          • bull

            But thats already public domain. machining a receiver for a Phased Plasma Rifle in a 40 Watt Range would be a different story.

          • HSR47

            If it’s already in the public domain, and therefore kosher to distribute publicly under ITAR, then why did DOS already use ITAR to force Defense Distributed to take down their CAD files?

            The answer is that it has NOTHING to do with what is in the public domain, and EVERYTHING to do with distributing information to people in other countries.

            You’re not seeing the forest for the trees.

          • MrEllis

            If you publish an article with the specifications or templates required to make one or 3D print one you would be. If this actually was codified, which it’s not near being as of yet.

          • Ethan

            Wrong. A picture of a prototype is controlled under ITAR. Discussing weight, length, caliber, are all specifically controlled.

            Please – DO. YOUR. BLESSED. HOMEWORK.

          • MrEllis

            All caps makes you sound agitated. I did, you’re grasping. Show me one case of someone posting an AR-15 (Is that on the USML even?) is 5.5 pounds causing the government to take action in any way. I’ve given away State Secrets! NSA! Customs! Someone, come get me…

          • Ethan

            Here you go:

            No one has been busted for that YET, because currently “Export” is defined as you would expect it to be – delivery to an non-US agency or individuals. What this issue focuses on is redefining export to include publishing things to the internet – which would include most blogs, forums, gun review sites, etc..

            Laugh, but I’ve gone through the training ad nausem – you haven’t. I never said it was a great system, but that’s the way is IS enforced. Its the government – don’t expect it to make sense. Just know with certainty that they have and WILL continue to come after people they deem to be in violation – of something as simple as sending a picture to a friend who is a non-US citizen.

          • MrEllis

            Bang your drum slowly.

          • Ethan

            You are welcome.

        • MANG

          I promise to read it before I flip.

      • This is about ITAR!

        • MrEllis

          This is about protecting ideas, ITAR is more focused on licensing than any of the BS that is being tossed around here. Most of it is exclusively dealing with weapons systems we’d never even remotely own or have use for, few of them being firearms.

          • Ethan

            Licensing? No… no it truly does not. That is a tiny, tiny part of ITAR.

            The bulk of ITAR is about placing tight controls on the flow of information related to topics deemed “sensitive”. Who can see it, where copies of information is stored, who it is sent to, who is allowed in the area it is stored in, and how copies are made of it, and how the nationality of anyone who has access to it is tracked.. THAT is ITAR.

            -Someone who works with ITAR every day.

          • MrEllis

            It’s a massive part of it, because in the end most of these companies are exporting the arms or systems in question. They either export them in whole or license them. That “bulk” you speak of is the DoC and DoS regulation pertaining to it. The information is protected for security reasons and more importantly monetary reasons. This is about money at this point, there is no Eastern Bloc to defend our secrets against. This is about US companies wanting intellectual rights protected from outside sources more than protecting state secrets. We know if a company ants to sell something on the USML it will happen eventually some way or another.

            I could go on all day and night about how I am King of Spain or Head Cheese Inspector to the UN, you demand the burden of proof be on the poster, I’d like to see that spread around.

            A Random Guy on the Internet

          • Ethan

            “…most of these companies are exporting the arms or systems in question”. Correct – except now publishing to the internet = export. Which means anyone writing a blog or posting in a forum is now potentially and “exporter” of sensitive information.

            And no, its not about money, its about national security – ask the many, many people who have gone to prison and paid many, many millions of dollars to learn that lesson.

            I have posted numerous links – just look around.

          • lucusloc

            Incorrect (again), ITAR explicitly covers small arms.

    • mzungu

      Didn’t some MIT encryption guy got around this ITAR language by publishing his code/key as a book via 1st Amendment.

      Most ITAR violation are quietly settled to avoid having having the courts drawing such defining lines. The govn like to keep the ITAR line as grey and murky as possible to scare and bully people…

      • Blake

        he tattooed some Perl code for a cyptography algorythm on his arm, tried to board a plane, & got arrested. & that was before 9/11

      • John Richardson

        Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit against John Kerry, the State Dept, and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls over this issue in early May. The lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Austin, Texas. The lawsuit has been covered by the New York Times and Wired among others.

    • Gregory Allen

      It won’t be a problem. This is pretty much straight copyright protection language. Don’t let the title of the article and the NRA release color your expectations.

      • It has nothing to do with copyright protection. It is a fact it’s about using ITAR as part of an agenda.

      • Ethan

        Guys, you’ve gotta understand – ITAR is like the honey badger of the federal government. ITAR don’t care – ITAR don’t give a sh*t!
        It is the ultimate “For national security” trump card. Take a look at some cases recently where big companies got hit HARD. Now imagine smaller companies without teams of lawyers to fight back with.. or individuals…

    • Canadian Vet

      Thing is, freedom of speech always gets trumped by “national security matters”. I’m not as familiar with ITAR as many of you are, but I am intimately familiar with the Official Secrets Act on my side of the border. If any information gets classified or slapped with a limited distribution or “(fill the blank) Eyes Only” caveat, whatever that information was is no longer for wide consumption.

      Release that information, you have just committed an offence.

      And I am appalled that your government would use legislation and regulations originally meant to keep sensitive technologies out of the wrong hands as a tool of indirect gun control. And if they can get away with doing this to a group as politically unpopular (in some circles at least) as the firearms community, then it would be extremely easy to further expand it to cover other political hot potatoes. It would be the start of a very slippery slope.

      • Bill

        Big fan of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, huh? Loved it when a news correspondent showed the location of US units on a map as they were invading Iraq, right?

        • Canadian Vet

          Hardly. I owe my life to OPSEC measures so you won’t find me supporting the likes of Snowden and Assange. From where I’m sitting, they have comitted acts of espionage and treason and are accessories to the murder of anyone who died as a result of their actions.

          What bothers me is that those regulations meant for national security are being expanded and brought to bear for purely political gain and to squash what the current administration deems undesirable.

          • Bill

            You can’t have it both ways. There is no absolute free speech, or absolute security, it has to be in balance.

            If you’re familiar with OPSEC, you also have to be familiar with the concept of REALISTICALLY evaluating a threat, and not flipping out every time somebody flip-flops past your CONEX on their way to the latrine, thinking that the wire’s been breached.

            And free speech by no means always trumps national security, or Snowden wouldn’t be hopping around to countries with no extradition treaty, and Bradley Manning wouldn’t be in Leavenworth picking out dresses.

          • Canadian Vet

            I believe I see where the disagreement stems here. It would appear you have misread my initial comment. What I said is that “national security matters” always trump freedom of speech, not the other way around.

  • Count_Iblis

    Everyday Obama is in office, more freedoms disappear and the grip of big government tightens.

    • MrEllis

      Stop it, just stop, this has nothing to do with the president. You know why no major manufacturer is talking about this?

      • A.WChuck

        The State Department answers to the President, no?

        • MrEllis

          Eventually, but you think the president penned this? Literally hundreds of people write stuff down every day the president never sees. Believe it or not, you have to apply context to these things.

          • toms

            He sets the agenda. Are we supposed to believe that Obama has nothing to do with all of these proposed rule changes that keep poping up like toxic mushrooms, 5.45 ban, 41p, m855 ban, ar ak pistols non 922 compliant, itar restrictions; all of which are selectively applied? Get a clue man. He send out his minions to accomplish his goals. Apparently stoping gun culture is more important than jobs, global stability, or anything else on his radar.

          • MrEllis

            I have a clue, it suggests hyperbole and self-inflated drama feed an internal dialog. The president has done what to make gun ownership harder? Nothing. He’s done nothing. He’s your imagined boogeyman the gun and munitions manufactures build stories around so they can gouge on prices. You think he honestly spends the majority of his time worry about guns? Stop it, apply context and look at the known facts. Not some hyperbolic ifs and maybes.

          • Ethan

            “The president has done what to make gun ownership harder? Nothing. He’s done nothing.”

            You sir, are absurdly wrong.

          • Gregory Allen

            Name one thing, and be specific.

          • Ethan

            -21 Executive orders to start, which are now starting to be implemented.

            -Constant press conferences demonizing and marginalizing gun-owners.
            -Calling for a federal “universal registration”.
            -Calling for a renewed federal “assault weapons” ban.
            -Calling for the outright ban of “weapons of war”.
            -Strongly supporting numerous other tried-and-failed attacks from both the legislative and judicial branches (long list).

            You’re response may be “so what – what has it actually amounted to?”. And you’re right – in reality what all this has amounted to is a huge sweeping victory for the 2ND Amendment across the US. I certainly won’t pretend its been a bad few years for gun owners.

            But just because he hasn’t succeeded, doesn’t mean he hasn’t tried. I think we can agree on that much.

          • Gregory Allen

            You’ve proved that he’s done nothing to make buying guns harder.

          • Ethan

            I have proved that he has not SUCCEEDED in making guns harder to buy BECAUSE we fought back, and won.

            Not trying to put words in your mouth, but I get the impression your message here is “No threat, move on, nothing to see here”.

            If we had taken that tact over the last 8 years, we WOULD have lost, and lost greatly.

          • Gregory Allen

            I guess I got overly-angry at you, but my biggest problem is that I just hate how easily-scared gun-owners are, to the point we’re barking at shadows like this, instead of real problems. Most of the reason why anti-gun legislation is so easily passed is because of how jumpy and objectionable the biggest pro-gun voices are. It sways public opinion against all of us, even when there are good reasons against control.

          • Bill

            Stop it, you are using common sense and logic, and that shyt don’t hunt.

          • Kivaari

            Gun owners face real threats from government. Look at how so many states and cities have taken guns from people. Look at how we lawful owners cannot carry a gun nationwide with out fear of arrest. Look how NJ tried to send an old-timer to jail for having a 300 year old flintlock pistol. How people have been convicted and imprisoned for trying to register their guns. No good people should have to be disarmed to make people like Bloomberg happy.

          • Bill

            Bologna: compare the stats on gun ownership, type of gun availability and the number of states with CCW in some form or another to 15, 20, 30 years ago. People under 30 don’t realize how good they have it.

          • toms

            The only reason we have succeeded in preventing these “re-interpretations, laws, rules changes” is because of the gun communities ability to disseminate technical information to the public. get rid of that and their success rate soars. Hence the need to crimp the gun support community system and its online community network at the bud. Getting gun legislation through in the internet age has proven very difficult. An obstacle that the haters are well aware of.

          • Ethan

            Exactly. Much like laws that attack the free speech of whistle-blowers – it creates a chilling effect that is enough to keep many people from even speaking out on the subject.

          • MrEllis

            You did not fight anything. The president has changed nothing. He paid some minor lip service to banning some things after horrible people did horrible things but it went nowhere.

            The thing is the president is being painted as going for your guns because it sells guns, period. The NRA is a lobbying group that doesn’t care about you one lick. It works for weapons manufacturers. The bottom line is where it is at, there is no ideal they protect or live up to it’s all money. It’s easy to prey on people’s bias and internal dialog and they know this. The ammo shortage is a prime example.

          • Ethan
          • MrEllis

            Let me fix that.

          • Kivaari

            The people have been fighting every move he makes. We’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying efforts to stop him. We should be able to spend it on guns and ammo.
            Obama is a democrat. Democrats sponsor or vote for anti-gun laws that harm individuals. Several states now prohibit our guns of choice. Some states have outlawed hollow point ammunition and magazine size. That should not be ok with any gun owner. Places like NJ, DC, NYC, Chicago, LA, CT, MD, should not be able to outlaw any firearm or ammunition type. If cops can have it, then the citizens should have it. The government can control nuke material, The rest of it should be just fine in the hands of good citizens. If you can afford it, you should be allowed to have it, without penalty of higher taxation or registration.

          • marathag

            Blocking import of South Korean surplus M1 Rifles

          • jay

            If he does, maybe the Koreans can send all those garands up here to Canada. 🙂
            I could use a couple.

          • Bill

            How many people were sitting around thinking “I just HAVE to have a Korean M1?”

          • marathag

            You have looked at current M1 pricing, yes?

            Now imagine those prices with a low cost batch coming in.

          • Bill

            So do you want those sold through importers at low cost, or the CMP, which is sort of in the Garand business, which strangely enough, you’d think an anti-gun government would euthanize immediately.

          • marathag

            And what happens to CMP when they run out of M1s?

            Hint: BO won’t be putting anything in to replace them, just crocodile tears on no guns, so has to be shut down

          • Cynic

            The CMP is protected by statute and the current make up of Congress means they don’t have the votes to do it. What the gov can and has done however is the blocking of imports that could be sold through the CMP and also blocked the CMP from.being able to sell handguns that are leaving us service.

            (Admittedly this was first done in the Clinton years following the change from 1911 to m9 by ordering the first batches of decommissioned arms to be destroyed)

            However they have recently blocked the CMP from selling any of the newest batch to be removed from service.

            Also not.a CMP thing but a fed gov thing, the change in the rules for the sale of brass by the DoD happened recently. The DoD changing the rules and demanding all brass be rendered incapable of being reloaded. Which had a dramatic impact on the 5.56 market for reloads and those companies making remanufacture ammo.

            This was fought by a concerted campaign and changed back I believe but they have tried a second time.

          • Ethan

            We don’t judge things by the standard of “have to have” here in the US – we’re a free country where you don’t seek permission and have to demonstrate a special need before exercising your right.

            The relevant fact is this: Obama (whom I do not hate, so please don’t dismiss what I’m saying here) directly blocked the importation of firearms that are legal to own and buy in this country because he didn’t think Americans should have them. He has *attempted* to do much, much more.

            I look at it this way – when someone is shooting at me, and telling everyone on the block that they want me gone, I don’t take much comfort in the fact that so far most of his shots have missed my vitals.

            One group of people push one way, the other push the opposite way – its the way democracy works in our republic. But when one group STOPS pushing – says “nothing to see here, quit freaking out all the time” – then the other groups holds sway and the balance shifts.

          • Bill

            So go buy an M1. Nobody’s stopping you. You just don’t want to pay for it.

            There are plenty of foreign cars and motorcycles I’d like to have, but don’t have to have, that don’t meet importation rules, and I’m not whining about it, or claiming it’s a violation of my rights. Should we blame Obama for that, too? He ordered that bumpers be a certain height and exhaust systems meet certain requirements? I don’t think so.

          • Ethan

            If the president banned the import of certain cars because he believed (and publicly evangelized) that civilians should not be allowed to own cars, then yes – I expect you would be raising a stink. Therein lies the difference. 😛

            The rifles in question were made in this country, and are 100% legal by all regulations of this country (unlike certain cars that don’t meet X, Y or Z requirement) – but he banned them arbitrarily because of his personal beliefs that we should be disarmed – and said as much. So yeah, not the end of the world as we know it, but he most definitely has made it more difficult to own firearms.

            Like I said in another post here – I’m not going to claim its been a bad few years for gun owners – traumatic and eventful, but not bad. The list of gun control initiatives our President has succeeded in is far shorter than the list of initiatives he has attempted, and the back-lash has been substantial. But you also can’t claim that our President “hasn’t done anything” to make gun ownership harder.

            When someone is shooting at me and missing, my reaction is likely not going to be “well its OK because he’s a bad shot”. Knowadamean? 🙂

          • Miles

            all those M1s are ALREADY paid for.
            The Taxpayer paid for them when they were manufactured.

          • Kivaari

            Obama pushed legislation in congress. He instituted restrictions on border states w/o approval of congress. He openly wants guns out of our hands, off the streets, and unavailable.

          • toms

            Just because every one of his agendas has failed miserably doesn’t mean he hasn’t tried. The price gouging is just a market response to perceived shortage. Right or wrong many gun owners remember the ban years and hoard things they don’t want to lose. I never said he sits around thinking about guns, he sets the agenda his gophers do the leg work. I don’t imagine he does much at all except play golf and look at himself in the mirror. Narcissists are easy to spot and he has all the classic symptoms.

          • Bill

            That is probably one of the best pieces of writing on Obama re firearms I’ve ever read. Let’s not forget that his election caused an industry wide-economic boom that they are still riding, and have a vested interest in riding as long as possible. I can easily imagine gun company executives praying that a pro-gun Republican won’t get elected. They’d make tons more money if Hilary gets in.

          • Cynic

            The head of a company is liable for what his underlings do. That’s how it works . When an organisation is found to be commiting large scale crimes or grey area tasks the CEO is the one who jumps or gets pushed.

            When things are done by an organisation you are in control of you will end up taking the blame for what the organisation is doing.

            Also an organisation takes its ethos, it’s policy direction and it’s culture from the attitude and actions of its head.

            So for an organisation to do things like for a hypothetical example investigate penalise and pressure tax exempt organisations from one side of the political spectrum whilst not touching opposing groups or writing and developing administrative interpretations of laws that end in them being much more restrictive than the original text of the law that restricts the right to possess firearms or starts investigations or projects with the stated goal of ‘preparing the public for.acceptance of future gun control’ those in power in the organisation must condone these actions taking place.

            Ergo if those actions are being done by an organisation that by statute takes its orders and ethos from presidential appointees then…. its fair to say the management of the organisation and the ethos of that organisation will reflect the ethos of its master.

          • MrEllis

            A country is not a corporation, that’s nowhere near how bureaucracy works in reality. Also, if you didn’t notice after the crash, CEOs are not the ones who get punished, unless they are completely unconnected. This site is not political, maybe find a different forum?

      • Gmansaid

        This looks like the “MrEllis” blog to me and since you support the derelict president and his agenda-no place for me.

        Sandy Hook Elementary non-shooting passed off like a real event. Where is the NRA on that subject…all of them fooled too? I don’t think so. Something is wrong with the NRA, something is wrong with you, MrEllis for supporting such a Bastard as he.


      • steveday72

        You are sounding more and more like one of those Federal sock-puppet account!

        …And you’ll probably dismiss the reality of their existence.

      • Kivaari

        Obama sets the agenda. He wants Gitmo closed, congress disagrees. So, what does Obama do? He lets 5 top leaders go in exchange for a mentally disturbed deserter. Obama pitches a fit when he is stopped by congress or the courts. He hasn’t been stopped enough.

    • RickH

      Please list all those “freedoms” you no longer have.

      • MR

        Register a machine gun via Form One

        • RickH

          Closing a loophole has nothing to do with registering and owing a machine gun.

          • Miles

            What are you talking about?
            Explain that please, as what you wrote makes absolutely no sense whatsoever as it sounds like a typical anti-gunner remark.

    • Bill

      Name one freedom, besides the freedom to not have health care. Hell, I’m free to go to Cuba and have real cigars and rum

  • Chris Hess

    From my cold, dead hands.

    • MrEllis

      In context that doesn’t even make sense.

      • Y-man

        He’s referring to his coffee-stained keyboard. They will only take away his access to TFB from his cold, dead hands…

        Molon Labe!

  • Bill Rushmore

    “Is this how TFB ends? With no fanfare, just one man’s signature on an unconstitutional document?”

    No, we can’t let that happen. We all must make our voices heard on this.

  • ghost

    Wait for it…………hillary is coming.

  • MountainKelly

    Oh look the state department acting draconian.

  • MrEllis

    So when nothing comes of this, not due to anything anyone does here, I expect some crow eating.

    • floppyscience

      No, expect the NRA to cry VICTORY and take credit for slaying the dragon they made up.

      • MrEllis

        Lobbyists, bleh.

        • Miles

          THEY’RE the ones who made sure the ’94 AS ban had a Sunset clause.
          THEY’RE the ones who made sure the ATF backed off from their ban on M855.
          While YOU are an arrogant fool of a Troll who doesn’t know when they’ve lost the attempt at knowledge suppression

          • MrEllis

            Remember when you whined about personal attacks? I do!

            “While YOU are an arrogant fool of a Troll…”

            I’m not shocked at all a hypocrite would do all sorts mental of contortions to fit lobbyist betwixt his cheeks. Lobbyists are the number one problem with politics today, second only to the idiots who think money doesn’t corrupt politicians.

      • Gregory Allen

        “Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter are gonna take our guns away”

        “Reagan’s gonna take our guns away” (Yes, people said this, I’m not joking)

        “Bush, Clinton, Bush are gonna take our guns away”


        And the NRA cries Victory each time.

        • SirOliverHumperdink

          If they could ban, they would. Just move to CT CO NJ NY MD MA DC ect and see how your argument holds water.

          • Gregory Allen

            And I’m saying it only serves a powerful lobbying group to freak out every time they want you to instead of focusing on real problems.

          • Ender

            All those Real Problems like climate change and white privilege and college rape culture amiright?

          • Kivaari

            Except the camel is in the tent and just took a dump on my pile of gun magazines.

          • Miles

            And I guess the rights guaranteed by the BOR don’t matter.
            Hi Troll
            You’ve lost
            Get over it and move on to your next assignment

        • AJ187

          As far as I’m concerned the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of ’94 took a whole host of popular guns off the market. And guess what, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan all wrote letters to the house to support it. Worth a membership to me.

        • Kivaari

          Bush the elder did stop Chinese arms. Clinton did pass the AWB ’94.
          LBJ signed the GCA ’68. Reagan screwed us in May of ’86. So, just about every president in the last 80 years has screwed with us.

        • jay

          I wish we had something like the NRA up here in Canada. You have no idea how lucky you are to have a strong organization like this, fighting for your rights.

    • Don Ward

      I prefer Wildlings! Hubbahubba.

      • Tassiebush

        You know nothing Don Ward… Hehe sorry couldn’t resist that!

    • That goes both ways:-)

  • BryanS

    Of course.. the way to get rid of the firearms is to marginalize it back to a few guys mumbling around a clubhouse, and not letting the entire culture flourish as it has.

    Not that this would survive constitutional scrutiny by the supreme court.

  • Plumbiphilious

    They can’t have believed that such stringent wording to include even us hobbyists outside of the “scary 3d ghost gun untraceable hacker anarcho-terrorists” they fear would get them past without ridiculous levels of hate and activism from us. This also seems to be edging in on First Amendment territory.

    This is either impossibly short-sighted or possibly some sort of F U from the Fed.

    That, or I am hoping, some sort of weird conspiracy to jack up gun prices even higher before election season for close friends of the Fed who are speculators with gun-related stuff to sell.

    That’s far less sinister than if someone actually MEANS this to pass on ideology rather than something as pithy as a quick profit.

    We can’t be that bad at the Fed level, can we?

  • ARCNA442

    Melodramatic much? I can’t think of the last time you published any real engineering details of a modern weapon (maybe the G36, but that not American technology anyways) and I’m pretty sure the State Department has better things to do then persecute people for talking about the “barrel length and type of rifling” in a commercially available weapon. If that last part was true I bet every gun manufacture would file a court case before you could blink since it would effectivly prevent them from advertising.

    While we will need to keep an eye on this and make sure it isn’t used against hobbyists. Legislation like this is probably a good idea to help keep important technical data out of the hands of other nations.

  • Swarf

    That this is even being contemplated is some Soviet style bullshit.

    They should be f’ing ashamed of themselves.

  • Patriot

    The question isn’t “is this the end of TFB”, the question should be “Is TFB going to let this be the end”… Oh yeah, firearms not politics.

  • Gregory Allen

    That first excerpt is very misleading in its cut form. You really can’t skip sentences in these types of releases. Here it is in its full form:

    “The proposed definition requires that
    information be made available to the
    public without restrictions on its further
    dissemination. Any information that
    meets this definition is ‘‘public
    domain.’’ The definition also retains an
    exemplary list of information that has
    been made available to the public
    without restriction and would be
    considered ‘‘public domain.’’ These
    include magazines, periodicals and
    other publications available as
    subscriptions, publications contained in
    libraries, information made available at
    a public conference, meeting, seminar,
    trade show, or exhibition, and
    information posted on public Web sites.”

    That first sentence is important as far as your article goes. From what I can tell, this means that once even unapproved data is released into the “public domain” can not be clamped down on. The following paragraphs talking about licenses for releasing data refer to “technical data” being released into the “public domain” without being submitted to review before being published into “defense articles.” As it stands, “technical data” is filtered before being released to “defense articles” which as far as ITAR is concerned, is the United States Munitions List (a free article available online). Basically, they want to get a hold on what goes into the USML, but if information bypasses, the USML, it is public domain and cannot be suppressed by the government.

    The only thing I see here is that they want to make sure “technical data” gets approved into the USML, and that “public domain” information not be suppressed. Once something is in the USML or released through official channels, dissemination of the information is not restricted. The punishment on releasing information without authentication I swear has been around for a long time, and is nothing new. The NRA response seems completely out of the blue, and full of scare tactics (i.e. an NRA press release).

    In the future, please look at these before scaring people. I’ve been an avid reader ever since Nathaniel told me he was writing for you guys, and I don’t want this to turn into another blog full of scare tactics and angry “Obummer” rhetoric and commenting.

    • MrEllis

      Thank you.

      • Gregory Allen

        I always liked the tone of TFB as a page for enthusiasts, hobbyists, and sportsmen. It’s even a source of information for non gun-owners and a good positive mouthpiece for the gun community. I just don’t want it to be another scare site. If it does do articles like this, I want to make sure everything is researched and discussed to its extent.

        • MrEllis

          It’s a Catch-22, the more popular it becomes the easier it is to pander. I have came here and recommended this site because of the subtitle. It’s becoming less and less what I enjoy about it (guns) and more and more about click-bait that brings in people who “libtard” you if you don’t fall right into line with their bias.

        • It won’t be but if Steve interprets something like this as a threat he’ll post it to make people aware not to fear monger.

          • Gregory Allen

            Between this and those suppressor-shipping articles, I have a hard time believing that you put in all of the facts before wanting to rile up a crowd for extra hits.

            It doesn’t help that there is a large “TFB WILL BE GONE FOREVER” graphic and title. I’m to be assured that the writer and editor properly examined information, and will post redactions if opposing facts come to light? Because I see literally nothing in the defense release that would punish TFB for releasing the content it already does, unless you were to release information that is not currently public domain on the USML or other authenticated and even non-authenticated channels (the way you’ve been writing forever).

          • I can assure you if that was the case we would say so. We have talked to many people about this and I mean top people in the industry and this is not a BS clickbait as you put it.
            This is for real and it’ going to be very bad. That’s been the universal opinion on those we have spoken with and compared notes.
            Should they follow through and attempt this I can count on an apology from you?

          • Gregory Allen

            But it says nothing about people who report on released information, only those who release it. These type of laws exist in every form of business, from financial to food. Second, this isn’t law, it’s State Department guidelines of goals for pursuance of leaked information. I feel like manufacturers would welcome protection against leaked info, increased liability towards single sources of leaks, and decreased liability against a corporate entity. And publishers would be protected under “public domain” if they’re not the ones to leak information themselves. It’s all in how you view it, and you clearly view it the same way the NRA did. Try seeing it from another angle, unless you’re really, really trying to fire up pity on your website.

          • Rusty S.

            “You feel like”…exactly. Have you discussed this with legal counsel? There is a risk to us. Aside from “guidelines”, there is a clear 1st amendment conflict. No pity, just knowledge.

          • MrEllis

            Not to mention why is there no noise from the major players in the manufacturing of firearms? This article is a rabbit hole and the only noise about it is from the far right. It’s fringe and so far removed from context that it is click-bait. Until this ends up in the CFR, which takes near a year, it’s akin to the vast majority of the content in the FR, musings and spit-balling. The entire purpose of the FR is to clarify existing rules, seek clarification and present things for discourse. This in no way codifies anything into law. Most of it ends in the FR.

            This is going to deal with templates for weapons and 3-D printers more than a blog on the internet. They are opening discourse as tot he specifications. It’s facile and irresponsible journalism to make a jump that something in the FR is the end of all firearms related information.

          • Ethan

            All firearms manufacturers are already under ITAR – and have been so for decades. This doesn’t affect them.

            Once again, PLEASE DO SOME BASIC HOMEWORK.

          • MrEllis

            You are so busy coming after me I can’t tell what context this one is in, doesn’t seem related to any post I made in this sub thread. You seem agitated…

          • lucusloc

            He is stating the fact that basically all manufacturers already have to be licensed under ITAR, and so this does not actually change much for them. The new rules would require every blogger and forum poster to get a license as well, if they wanted to stay legal. As far as my reading goes the licensing part is a bit ambiguous, since there does not seem to be any changes there. The posting “technical data” to the net is definitely there though, so while under the change we could all easily be construed as criminals for posting reloading data, it is unclear how we would go about getting that data cleared, short of registering as a company with the DoS and submitting all out posts for review.

            Of course (and this is where some tinfoil hattery may come in) I think this is all by design. They want to clearly label all technical communication about firearms illegal without permission, but conveniently overlooked a way for the proles to get that permission. They have any businesses covered (they already had a mechanism in place for that), so that should keep most of them politically quiet, and they will likely overlook the most mundane offenses by all the little people. So that just leaves targeting political opponents like Cody Wilson et. al. Slap him with a huge violation and don’t publicize it, and only the people reading the political blogs will ever know about it. He is punished in relative quiet, and the feds look like they are doing a good job “protecting the country and the world”. If a few well informed blogs likt TFB choose to go silent else risk the ire of the feds, well that is just bonus points for them.

            Now I cannot prove their reasons, but I can definitively prove that under the new rules TFB will be largely in violation. You can argue all you want about their rational behind the new law and how they may or may not enforce it, but you cannot argue about what it actually says. If it passes, we will all technically be criminals.

          • MrEllis

            He’s misposting the rant in the wrong reply. I’ll stop being subtle, I’m mocking his fixation.

            For the record, I didn’t read your post, it could have addressed this issue, if so, sorry in advance, if not I’m sure it was very interesting.

          • lucusloc

            Well that at leas explains your ignorance on the topic. There are some very good posters here that have detailed the changes to ITAR, and how the impact us. The original story is not an exaggeration, this could be very bad. Just because you refuse to educate yourself does not mean it will not impact you.

          • MrEllis

            Because I refuse to accept their subjective guess as to what it means. Let’s be honest, nothing but speculation here and not a single government official or lawyer that specializes in trade law has spoken to the subject.

          • billy

            mrellis, you look like a complete bafoon. And I’ll gladly say you seem like a complete A hole. You can thank me later.

          • MrEllis


          • Random thought… can you hear yourself? ಠ_ಠ

          • John

            Whatever your stance is on firearms, the act of suppressing information about firearms violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. There isn’t a judge in the country that would willingly uphold this kind of law.

            If this goes through, there will literally be a uprising. Hippies and yuppies will join forces. Conservatives and liberals will march together on Washington D.C. This is not the kind of thing that would sit well with anyone, even in these times. Especially in these times, after the Snowden and Manning leaks.

          • MrEllis

            I’ll apologize if it turns out even remotely close to your prediction, but if nothing comes from it will you retract it? You want to pander to the right, feel free, just remove you’re subtitle, I’ll move on and you can cater to people who don’t question you.

          • Ethan

            “but if nothing comes from it will you retract it?”

            That is *terrible* logic. So if someone shoots at me 12 times and misses, I am a liar for saying “he tried to kill me”?

          • toms

            These two guys have all the classic hallmarks of paid disinformation trolls. By repeatedly posting misleading statements at the top of a thread they redirect the narrative in their obvious direction. SOP for political activistists. Why would people like this post on a firearms centric blog? It suceeds in interrupting the message. This change is exactly what everyone in the industry knows it is, backdoor gun control.

        • Three of us spent a good amount of time yesterday and this morning checking various resources and speaking to people in the industry who are very much plugged into what’s going on.
          We independently came to pretty much the same conclusions when comparing notes.

      • Jim

        After reading all the replies and comments here, I believe
        MrEllis is actually an anti-gun Marxist troll. Gregory Allen may also be one. Below MrEllis says “You (TFB) want to pander to the right” and ” the only noise about it is from the far right”. His definition of the “far right” seems be anyone who believes the US Constitution should be interpreted the way it was originally written and under the Constitution the federal government only has the power to legislate and regulate the specific activities given to it in the Constitution’s text, and nothing else. MrEllis’ remarks are typical of a Marxist anti-gunner and the readers here should ignore his comments. But his and Mr. Allen’s most ridiculous attack was on the NRA, which under Obama has its plate over-full. The NRA has a bunch of very talented lawyers and would not waste their time and publish such a dire warning if it was not very serious threat to our liberty. I thank Steve Johnson for publishing this here to warn true gun enthusiasts.

        • MrEllis

          “True.” Heh.

          I have guns. I don’t proscribe to Marxism. You’re bad at the internet. Also, you’re exactly, I mean to a T (almost a parody) why i don’t go to other gun blogs or sites and I’m starting to reconsider this one.

          Don’t care about your absurd politics, don’t care about your views, I’m here for gun stuff. You are a cliche.

          • lucusloc

            This rule directly interferes with your ability to access that “gun stuff” in the future. Weather you consider it political or not, that is the case.

          • MrEllis

            No, it doesn’t that’s the point and it’s not even a rule.

          • lucusloc

            So you think you can violate the new changes ITAR and not get in trouble (assuming they are implemented as described)?

          • MrEllis


          • Jim

            I repeat, you are a typical Marksist troll.
            You did not address any of my specific comments, you attacked and slurred me, the messenger. Some people would call you a
            “liberal”, but that’s a euphemism, a true liberal is a member of the
            party of liberty. George Washington and
            Thomas Jefferson were liberals. You tend
            to call yourself a “progressive” these days, but that too is a euphemism. You all are really disciples of Karl Marx who
            wanted the government to expropriate (= steal) everything, tell everybody what
            work they would do, where they would live, how much they would make, etc. If you objected you were executed (=
            murdered). Marx himself said that Marxism
            eventually leads to dictatorship. He
            called it the “dictatorship of the proletariat” (proletariat =
            working class people), but what it turned out to be was a dictatorship of the
            political elite. Reference the facts of
            the former Soviet Union. Many in the US
            now fear Obama is heading us to a similar Marxist state. Don’t attack the messenger again MrEllis,
            address the facts I presented with facts.

          • MrEllis

            Is this satire?

          • Jim

            MrEllis, you are not addressing the facts, you are attacking and ridiculing the messenger again. Just what all Marxists in the US do now. From reading the other comments, it looks like the other posters get it.

          • MrEllis

            Honestly, this has to be satire, there is no way you are this dumb.

          • Miles

            No, even I get it.
            I decided to chime right in here too.
            Do you honestly think ANY one here, besides your apparent accomplice, Mr. Allen believes one word of your denials and seeming lack of concern?
            The answer is No.
            Your attempt failed, so all you can resort to is the Ad Hominem, THE signature of one who has lost the argument.
            You have lost at attempting to dissuade the readers here of the DoS attack against the rights every American has, so all you’re left with is vague and veiled insults.
            Just so you know that everyone here is onto your and Mr. Allen’s game.
            We understand….Troll

          • MrEllis

            That’s mighty convenient how your attacks are just being honest and I’m a big bad bully when I don’t roll over for you. Victim card is in play…

          • Jim

            I’d suggest you stop wasting the space on this blog and just go away. Apparently no one else believes you.

          • Jim

            MrEllis, you are attacking and ridiculing the messenger again, not presenting facts to counter my facts. I say again, it’s what Marxists do today. You fit the profile perfectly.

    • nadnerbus

      I suspect the promulgators of this proposed regulation are more worried about the publishing of information on stealth, or nuclear weapons, things of that nature. Blueprints of a Nimitz class say. I doubt anyone has even a good free speech objection to that.

      That said, they could do a better job of wording it to ensure that it can only be interpreted that way. Laws should be written so as to constrain government action to the minimum necessary to accomplish said law. Give an inch…

      Just look at the BATFE

      • Gregory Allen

        These sorts of things are really just a nightmare, and you have to cross-check a lot of definitions. It’s more like contract-ese than anything. These forms pretty much sit there as the “rule book” for pursuing law, as this is not an enforcement agency, but government entity who can file lawsuits, and not “laws created by the DoS to be enforced by them” like people here are interpreting. Those quotation marks mean a lot more than they let on, as they denote when a term is under an official definition in order with their stated rules.
        For example, “Defense article” doesn’t translate to “someone talking about the military” online as a first read may suggest, but literally only refers to the United States Munitions List and nothing else.

        • The US Munition List casts a huge net when it comes to firearms. The only Category I exemptions are for sporting shotguns, air guns, and black powder muzzle loaders. All handguns and rifles are considered Significant Military Equipment (SME), as well as combat shotguns, machineguns, and sound suppressors. Any technical data directly related to the manufacture or production of SME is itself considered SME. Technical data is defined as information required for design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance, or modification.

          • Come to think of it, an original Ferguson Rifle could still qualify as Significant Military Equipment under these criteria. However, its caliber would make it a Category II item instead of Category I.

        • TonysTake

          There is no difference between many Military firearms and their civilian counterparts.

      • HSR47

        “I suspect the promulgators of this proposed regulation are more worried about the publishing of information on stealth, or nuclear weapons, things of that nature. ”

        The fact that DOS has already used ITAR to force Defense Distributed to take down the CAD files they were distributing for their firearm designs, I’d say that your interpretation is profoundly naive.

        The intent of this is clearly to do an end-run around the first and second amendments in order to try to stifle the internet gun culture with the threat of prosecution and imprisonment.

    • ThomasD

      ” It’s tantamount to FDA regulations that force product claims and
      information to be approved before release to prevent false advertising.”

      Except that the FDA regulates claims for drug products not for the chemical entities themselves. That is a distinction with significant difference.

      If I cook up a brand new antibiotic in my garage I cannot sell it as a human drug product without FDA approval. That is nothing new. But I still can publish the exact chemical structure, it’s physical and chemical properties, and my method for producing it – all without any FDA interference.

      But, under this proposed regime, if I draw up a new design for an automatic rifle I cannot even publish the design drawings without prior approval. That is new, and it is chilling.

      • Jeff Suever

        In terms of the FDA comparison, I managed a project a couple of years ago where we made 2-3 minute promotional videos for a mobile app that allowed patients to monitor their medication dosages and times, as well as track symptoms. We had to be EXTREMELY careful of what was said even though we were making no claims of efficacy about the drug itself. Our script had to be reviewed by a legal team who spoke for the FDA- again, even though we made no claims of the drug. All we were doing was promoting an app that allowed you to log when you took your medicine and how you felt- but the FDA got to have say in how we promoted the APP not the DRUG!

        I sent an email to a friend on how to test handloaded ammo. I could just post it to a forum as well on the odd ball chance someone else would find it useful. Based on my limited understanding of this, I would be afraid to do so. And that is what they want. Us to be hesitant to do so out of fear. This needs to be stopped. It needs to be stopped loudly and publicly. The fact that we are arguing over nuances in what it says means it is working. If it is vague enough to confuse, it is vague enough for most people to give up and do something else.

    • J.T.

      You mention that it says “The proposed definition requires that information be made available to the public without restrictions on its further dissemination.” but you really need to pull what it says from the proposed text itself and not their abstract.

      Ҥ 120.11 Public domain.
      (a) Except as set forth in paragraph (b)
      of this section, unclassified information
      and software are in the public domain,
      and are thus not technical data or
      software subject to the ITAR, when they
      have been made available to the public
      without restrictions upon their further
      dissemination such as through any of
      the following:”

      Now lets look at paragraph (b).

      “(b) Technical data or software,
      whether or not developed with
      government funding, is not in the public
      domain if it has been made available to
      the public without authorization from:”

      Basically what it is saying is that the information will be considered in the public domain and not subject to ITAR once made available to the public, but their permission has to be given for it to be made available to the public. That burden though would seem to likely fall on the manufacturer or designer of a firearm or modification to a firearm.

      There does seem to be some exceptions though as to what needs permission. Namely Ҥ120.6 Defense Articles (b) The following are not defense
      articles and thus not subject to the
      ITAR: (3) Information and software that: (iv) Appear in patents or open
      (published) patent applications
      available from or at any patent office,
      unless covered by an invention secrecy
      order.” and “§120.10 Technical data. (b) Technical data does not include:
      (1) Non-proprietary general system
      (2) Information on basic function or
      purpose of an item;”. Any information already out there also wouldn’t need permission to be shared.

      To me it seems like their most likely goal is to block the designs of 3D printed firearms and firearm parts from being shared and they don’t care about what they trample on to reach that goal.

    • TonysTake

      “Shall Not Be Infringed” I hope you take that literally as it applies to both the First and the Second amendments.

  • iksnilol

    bad times friend ahead.

    You go away, but we are two of soul.

  • Joel K

    This just sickens me…

  • toms

    Let me spell it out for you: shipping javelins, Abrams, Eotechs, ACOGS, MRAPs, thermal imagers, drones, hellfires to Syria, Lybia, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Mexico, AL NUSRA, and Russia GOOD. Talking about or watching guns on the internet BAD! You dudes must hate America or something, if you oppose this sheesh.

    • Miles

      Hey stupid.
      Add to that the vagueness of the rule allowing prosecutorial discretion so nearly unlimited as to let a DOS bureaucrat decide that someone with a dissenting political view feel the full weight of that discretion.
      That’s what this whole deal is about….Troll

  • suchumski

    🙁 sad 🙁

  • BattleshipGrey

    Saw this pic just the other day. It’s French but it definitely applies.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    The NRA screams like a little girl with a skinned knee every time Obama leaves the house.
    This is just another excuse for them to scare people, take their money, pretend to “solve” the problem and take credit. Nothing more.

    • SirOliverHumperdink

      So the NRA is to blame? Send your $ to ceasefire or brady then.

    • Ethan

      Sometimes, unquestionably yes. But the other 75% of the time you have mostly them, the SAF, and a few others to thank for everything gun-related you still get to enjoy.

      Understand, the NRA targets a broad audience, and just like Cable TV the historically most effective way to get and hold a broad audience’s attention is through emotional appeal. Its not always pretty, but I understand why they do it.

      • MrEllis

        The NRA has limited appeal and inflated “membership” numbers. They give lifetimes away with the purchase of some of the most common firearms. I know I have zero interest in being a member but I’m most likely count as one. These are lobbyists who garner the lion’s share of their income from manufacturers. They have a distinct agenda and average people are not number one on that list.

        • Ethan

          Once again – laughably, laughably wrong. Please -Just stop. Stop speculating, stop spreading malicious mis-information and do some basic research.

          NRA life memberships cost around $1000 typically, with some very rare discounts being offered at $500. Outside of perhaps being a prize at a raffle I have never heard of ANY kind of membership being “given away”.

          Unless you are prepared to share a link to said “give away”, I suggest you stop trolling.

          • Miles

            Ellis is doing this on purpose and with a plan.
            he’s a disinformation troll that is paid by whoever to post on blogs and BBS whatever his owners tell him to post.
            I wonder what it’s like to be that kind of boot licking slave and useful idiot.

    • Hironymous

      Yup. Besides fundraising the other business NRA is in is to help gun manufacturers grow their business. And nothing sells as much as when you throw in a periodic scare tactic. “Obama is after your guns….. Quick run and BUY NOW before the ban”.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Ive lost all respect for the NRA and their agit-prop.

  • Jake T.

    You forgot the paragraph that says unclassified information is concidered public domain and not technical data or software subject to the ITAR. Nothing to worry about folks. Move along

    • Canadian Vet

      Except that it is stupidly easy to restrict access to information. They don’t even need to classify it to stop it dead. They can just label it with a US Eyes Only caveat and any dissemination to non-US personnel just became an offence for both parties involved.

      • Ethan


  • Hokum

    What the hell?!

  • Ethan


    We got concealed carry, beat the federal assault weapon ban, the M885 ban, and many more because we TOOK ACTION and made our voices heard. Now it is time again to take up the pen and the telephone and BE HEARD.

    I suggest you start by commenting on this bill in the link provided in the article above.

    Sample comment:

    To Whom it concerns,

    This proposal seeks to expand the definition of “technical data” and “public domain” to include most common firearms related publications and online discussion. It constitutes a gross overreach of federal authority and a clear violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    Essentially, the State Dept is expanding the definition of information restricted in the interest of “national security” to encompass a broad swath of firearms-related discussion and publication. This is an attempt to regulate free speech about a constitutionally protected subject in a public forum.

    Though this proposal may have been founded on good intentions, in practice it is an assault on our Constitutionally protected liberties. I respectfully suggest you abandon any attempts to restrict public speech and publication of non-classified information that is not *explicitly intended* for export to a Non-US entity.

    -(your name)

    • MrEllis

      You didn’t prevent anything, there was never a ban on M885 and the blathering anyone did anything to stop it is insanely fantastical. Tilting at windmills.

      • Ethan

        So that whole part where the ATF put a proposed ban IN WRITING and then later put IN WRITING that due to public outcry they were shelving the idea just.. didn’t happen?

        The documents are there, go look for yourself.

        What’s got you so agitated? You’ve posted about 40 times on this thread/topic without providing any external evidence to support your claims.

        • MrEllis

          I’ll give you that one, with a caveat. No ban was in place, someone thought they were clarifying policy. It wasn’t a ban written specifically for that purpose it was a list they failed to upkeep. If you feel some people whining on the internet got things done, go for it. That’s not how politics work in America.

          Agitated? Oh, I see if you claim “you mad bro” it undermines my credibility, we’re doing internet things on the internet. So every post you have ever written best have citation if you demand the same.

          It’s cute that you’re worried about my post count though and not creepy at all.


  • Blake

    There’s a reason that the only amendment before the 2nd amendment, is the first amendment…

    • Don Ward

      There’s a reason that the only two Amendments that come before the 3rd Amendment is the first and the second…

      • Blake

        Has anyone tried to quarter soldiers in your house recently?

  • Casual Observation

    I’m telling you, it’s their game plan to use the 1st Amendment to beat up on the 2nd. Have already seen it on college campuses where CC is legal.

  • USMC03Vet

    Bama was never a fan of the U.S. Constitution.

    • Kivaari

      He’s on video tape with that. His being a constitutional professor is silly.

  • Kevin Harron

    Kinda disappointed with this article. More than a little click-baity. I generally expect better from you guys.

  • Koyote Tan

    This is an issue that will simply be corking Niagara Falls. I will not comply for one second. If YouTube boots me off, up will go my own or some other site, then bit torrents, then vailed gun references in Beatles songs… They could turn off the whole spigot online and I’ll still be showing gun videos as I open my robe on the street to passing old ladies.

    Can we finally hang up the notion that they don’t want a police state in this country? There is no bill of rights to these people. The constitution is just a piece of paper to sociopaths that make it to these positions. Rights are like condiments they can just decide to stop carrying for their crap sandwiches you must order.

  • Much ado about nothing. If there’s anything to be concerned about, it’s only the gov’t monkeying around with regs, which is never good anyway, regardless of which regs. Other than that, this is blown way out of proportion. Others here have already explained why.

    Standard NRA money grab stuff. Move along.

  • Another thing… get off the politics guys. Either that or just change your tag line and get it over with so I can give up hope and move on. Please. You’re all starting to very much sound like the conservative clickbait sites. I’m quickly losing interest.

    • It’s about the law not politics.

      • That’s a distinction without a difference here and you know it. Knock it off. Next you’ll tell me that TFB has *nothing* in common with conservative clickbait sites as you read the title of this article to me with a straight face.

        Have it your way man.

        • MrEllis


      • RickH

        Yeah, no politics in this discussion………………

        • Miles

          yeah, another anti-gunner in disguise.
          I knew it.
          Your ploy trying to shut down debate by this method is a well known one.
          You loose.
          Now go and cash that paycheck from the Joyce Foundation.

  • Don Ward


    • Kevin Harron

      Breaks out flamethrower at the sound of Jar Jar’s voice.

  • Kivaari

    It is amazing that our government has no understanding of free speech or our right to bear arms. Allowing other nations, The United Nations, to have a say in our individual freedoms is simply wrong. Perhaps the rest of the world needs to adopt a constitution that protects the rights of individuals. Obama is too willing to accept the destruction of freedom here and abroad.

    • Sometimes I think he wants to harm the country—-

      • Kivaari

        It is obvious to me that he desires to bring us down to a third world status. His eminence really likes to wield power doing things his way, regardless of the law.

        • RickH

          Do you make a new tinfoil hat every morning?

      • MrEllis

        That’s an idiotic statement.

      • RickH

        Yeah, no politics in this discussion…………again……………

  • Howard M. Murdock

    Since I enjoy a bit of conspiratorial speculation, I would venture now that we have Net Neutrality and the interwebs are under benevolent governmental oversight- this is something we can expect more of. An attenuation of thoughts, ideas and concepts not favored by said benevolent government. 1st amendment? We no longer observe the 4th, so why would the 1st apply much longer? Anyway, I am glad I don’t frequent sites about firearms and their technical specifications. I’m also glad that I lost all of my evil firearms in that tragic boating accident. I have to put my tin foil hat back on now.

  • Davidio flavio

    The state dept. Wants me to pay 3000 Dollars so I can manufacture one suppressor to sell.

    NOT to export it to another country, not to sell it to the military, not to make a cannon or rocket either.

    Technically make a screw that goes into any weapon on the list and you need to register with the DOS, and again that costs 3K.

    Why? I can’t let a friend from Canada look through my PVS-14. Why?

    And you think they won’t attempt to make anything else illegal?

    WAKE UP.

  • lbeacham

    Make criminals of us to defeat us.

  • Simcha M.

    Turn the TFB into a political forum, then it would be covered under the First Amendment. (yeah, right; like Obama is going to respect THAT!!)

  • jamezb

    For those who deny this is a threat, This methodology is rich with historical precedent. From the “First Emperor” of China, To Stalin, to Pol Pot, and on to this day. It is THE preferred way to edit, erase, or re-write history, truth, or “forbidden knowledge”…
    The methodology works like this:
    1) Burn the books
    2) Burn the authors
    3) Remind anyone who doesn’t rush to forget what happened to the authors.

    Like magic, the past, truth, knowledge, -whatever it is the ruler wants to erase/rewrite vanishes after a few years…

    • jamezb

      Burning the authors in this case, of course means fining and imprisoning…but that to, is a degree of “Burned”..

    • Bill

      And what exactly happened to Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Papa Doc Duvalier and insert next despot here? Jeez, even Qaddafi chilled out a little and still got shived in the butt.

  • Bill

    No one panics like gun people panic.

  • Mike Reagan

    How may times have all said, “The 2nd is there to protect the first”?

  • Roger V. Tranfaglia

    Soo… Steve…are YOU and all these other bloggers just going to rollover and play dead?? REALLY????
    WHO and HOW is the statist dept going to make them/us COMPLY?????
    Are they REALLY going to shut down the ‘net, sue periodicals and their distributors?
    Bring the gun shows on tv to court?
    Ban manufactures from publishing tech specs for guns and ammo?. REALLY

    ATF,DEA,SWAT teams WILL have 2nd thoughts as will the National Guard and . military. (yes, double entendre there). Plus there is SO much for them to cover to even make a dent.

    Hey…if y’all just want to give up the ghost, go ahead, I’ve got some CRAZY ideas putting dollar signs in my eyes…….

  • voldamane .

    First, this is just part of the presidential season. The NRA needs money, lots of it, to move the presidential election. Chalk this one up to political donations season. The people on this blog are excellent and patriotic professionals and none of their writing falls under what the ITAR is about anyway.

    The primary people affected by this ruling are people who are exporting information. The various official secrets acts prevent a lot of communication of military data to foreign states without license and permission. However, there has been a loop hole for public domain information. These rules affect two groups in that regard: people who are exporters of information and employees of the State Department.

    The state department regs cannot affect the book you wrote for Barnes and Noble. It cannot stop you from running a blog. It cannot stop you from making money on the blog, It cannot supersede the normal functioning of business rules and the first amendment which extends to all US citizens wherever they stand, and everyone inside of the United States.

    However if you are an exporter of information, and if you export to organizations banned by ITAR from receiving arms, then you can be affected.

    So how can you tell if this affects you? Look at your paycheck. If it says ISIS, Al Qaeda, Zimbabwe, Boko Haram, or weirdly enough, Russia, then you have met the first step of qualifying as an exporter under ITAR. Next, look at what you were hired to send them. If you are currently writing has a nice pamphlet on methods of beheading children using machetes, then you just won the jackpot. If you write a manual for rebels on how to load and fire an M16 and they pay you for it, then you are an exporter, and your actions run foul of the current ITAR law.

    The current tweak simply makes sure that the “common knowledge loophole is not in place. If your boss is China, and you send them a collated record of weights of different firearms, and they pay you a nice stack of reman B for your trouble, and a court can prove that you had “guilty knowledge of the act” then you are can be prosecuted. You are exporting arms in the form of manuals.

    No statement in the current law jeopardizes blog owners, and the State Department lacks the power to regulate internal communication.

  • Amsdorf

    Another great opportunity for the NRA fund raising machine to kick into high gear. I’ll brace my mailbox for the incoming tidal wave.

    This will be slapped down, if it ever happened, as an infringement on the First Ammendment.

  • Picklenav

    Fight for your 1st amendment rights or disappear. No other option.

  • Spencer

    It’s so sad to see TFB, which prides itself on “Firearms not politics”
    being dragged into the mud on this issue.

    Now as for the probable reality of these machinations. I sincerely doubt this administration is foolish enough to make a broad assault on firearm blogs and publications as that would be an easy thing to block in the court system. TFB is safe I’m
    sure(for now).

    The anti-gun crowd has short, mid, and long term goals just like the pro-gun crowd. In the short term the anti-gun crowd would absolutely jump on this as a way to publicly and aggressively attack well known sites that release firearm blue print and complete machining instruction such as Defense Distributed. I wouldn’t expect to see this action used in a broad fashion, but instead targeted attacks in order to reduce the risk of public
    backlash and pro-gun court precedent.

    In the midterm the goal would be to strategically widen the scope of the ruling through slowly creating court precedent to justify the right of the powers that be to dictate what free speech limitations are regarding firearms and explosives through regulation.

    The end game would be to abolish free speech regarding any and all technical details of firearms including basic field maintenance and weapons systems limitations while also
    working to abolish private gun ownership. The key to doing this is to do it slowly and systematically so that gun ownership is further and further stigmatized and made more expensive until the actual portion of the population that has any ability to actually use firearms is too small of a group to be taken seriously.

    Make no mistake; this rule change is a deliberate violation of 1st and 2nd amendment rights. It is so complex and vague that it applies to all factual discussions regarding firearms and ammunition. The unfortunate reality of modern US law is that virtually no man can complete his entire day without purposely or accidentally committing 1 or more felonies.

    And with the law this convoluted and this open to interpretation. We are also seeing the opposite effect. The powers that be in both parties are flagrantly violating both the spirit and meaning of a great many laws because these laws are worded so vaguely that they are treated by the court systems as mere technicalities when argued over by lawyers with 6 or seven figure salaries.

    • roguetechie

      yeah because appeasement always ends well…

  • Ed

    The fascist mantra of the Democratic party on show again.

  • Dan

    So my question is, do I put my tinfoil hat on and get out my gadsden and post pictures on facebook with my AR or can I go back to watching tv?

    • lucusloc

      Better (and simpler) is to write a comment on the chance so it never gets the chance at implementation. This is not tinfoil hat territory here, this is plain how-the-reg-is-written territory. The only question here is how they would choose to enforce it. Will they go after TFB? No one knows, but if this is implemented they would definitely have the legal authority to do so.

  • roguetechie

    no the question is NOT how they would choose to enforce it!!
    for one… That question and questions like it are how they sucker the mainstream gun owners / proponents of a free and open society into thinking well I don’t do X so I don’t have to support group y who don’t want x banned…
    that is you banking on SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT….
    there’s a catholic priest quote that’s extremely applicable here….
    I won’t paste it because then many of you will turn your brains off and label this comment “conspiracy theory” or mother Jones will be calling gun owners immature and declare the need for us to be corralled and slaughtered to the last man woman and child for DARING to compare Obama to Hitler….
    hey mother Jones…. At this point it’s probably a bad comparison…. Pol pot …. Or maybe comparing this to the run up to the great leap forward or cultural revolution is much more apt.
    I mean aside from the whole defecating all over the constitution thing… Lets be practical here.
    This move, if ALLOWED to go forward EVISCERATES an industry that once it’s gone, will be decades in the rebuilding WHEN we have to rebuild it. The fun thing is it’s an industry you have at best a year to rebuild WHEN your survival depends on it.
    here’s another slice of reality
    it’s a healthy vibrant and EXPANDING domestic industry!
    how many of these do we have at this point?

  • MrEllis

    Yes, one article will nail it. Your bias clouds your judgement and forces you to defend hyperbolic statements made by others at the expense of reality.

    • All the Raindrops

      That “one article” is not without many similar articles. The fact that his disdain for out enumerates rights us being written about in a “liberal” periodical must really grind your gears, thpugh.

  • Santa Claws

    OK so I read the entire thing, and I have come to the conclusion that you guys are overreacting. HOWEVER, I have also read some of the comments here. I am going to make a few points very quickly instead of a long drawn out post.

    1) TFB reads federal registers poorly, it’s clearly directed at manufactures and weapons developers. Most non-classified crap is exempt.

    2) HOWEVER, it will have a particularly chilling effect on cross border manufacturing…. “i.e. sig can not export designs to factory in turkey blah blah blah… ” this could potentially harm our ability to acquire manufacturing factories from foreign companies due to this clear overreach by our state department.

    3) Now on to our “O”pologist, can we talk, listen guys I know your a gun toting liberal, and thats cool and all but…. GO MOTHER FRACK YOURSELF. This is not only a plan pushed by The O (remember “I have a phone and a pen”) but it bewilders me how you can blame “the CEO of Inc. if anyone from the company were caught in a scandal but hey unless it’s a veto, it’s not The O’s fault.

    4) A few months back I said “All gun news is political” well here ya go, you want to be “no politics, just guns” well this is what we call a political Excrement sandwich. Look conservatives have no wish to make guns political…. actually lets be clear for a moment, actually we would rather not have guns, race, sex, marriage, children, education, healthcare, investments, or for that matter the internet be political. The problem is, without all that thrown into the political arena to feed the herd of the moronic, they would have no politics at all…. seriously, think about it for a moment… what would be their position? What WOULD jesse jackson do for a living?

  • Mike

    Um….this post was political. Can we read another review of some hot UTG accessories?

  • robocop33

    This new ‘regulation’ or ‘law’ or whatever it will be, is not meant for books and technical data that is out there in the public domain. It appears to be directed basically at the Internet and Blogs and places that “chat” or otherwise talk about firearms and ammunition, namely places like TFB! By stopping discussions about firearms etc they prevent people from discussing illegal actions that the Government is trying to do concerning firearms and your right to possess them. That way you only get one sided information. As for the magazines, they will be reduced to technical data that will be rather dry to most and the sections where there will be Q&A’s will stop.

  • Anomanom

    If i was inclined to believe in conspiracies, (and i’m not) I could think that this action is a more dangerous game than you perceive. Look at the quote:

    …. ‘‘technical data’’ is now

    defined, in part, as information

    ‘‘required’’ for the ‘‘development’’ or

    ‘‘production’’ of a ‘‘defense article, …

    That is a very broad definition. That could include what kind of metal a gun is made of, it’s caliber, what type of operating mechanism it uses, or even what 3rd party components are included in it. It could even encompass things like say, manuals or repair guides. But it is significant in that it is not rigidly defined. It is whatever the regulating body wants it to be.

    Now look at the penalties: 10 years and or USD 1,000,000. That’s per count, and counts can stack up quick. As tom cruise said of mail fraud, “It’s not sexy, but it’s got teeth”.

    Now, if i were inclined to believe in conspiracies (and i’m not), I would say that this is not designed to kill blogs and magazines, it’s designed to kill the manufacturers. One or two successfully prosecuted counts would probably be enough to sink probably most gun manufacturers in the US. But stack up a few dozen counts and suddenly the Rugers and the Remingtons and the Colts are closing their doors.

    Is it a conspiracy to enact gun control by choking the supply? Of course not, but I could make it one.

  • Texas-Roll-Over

    1st Amendment Infringement dudes

  • websearcher

    I saw this headline on a number of other gun/rightwing blogs. They all treated it the same way as here. Sensationalized and run for your lives the sky is falling BS. In short nothing new.

    But boy, was I surprised when I read the comments.

    What was new and refreshing were the comments from fine upstanding people like Gregory Allen and Mr.Ellis and others who are challenging the usual fear mongering of the right-wing in general and the NRA in particular. Bravo. Says a lot about your readers. Also I have to give credit to the blog owners that you allow such fair and balanced criticism without suppressing dissent. Keep up the good work, guys.

  • n0truscotsman

    “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.”

    Cody Wilson anybody?

    These changes are intended to address that type of “problem”.

    Screw that.

  • rootman

    MM yeah.. poor boy..
    Perhaps your moto/refusal to engage will do you in?
    Lots of words when it is you…

  • Some just don’t get it and think we’re crying wolf. Well read this and tell me that. Also note the executive order number at the bottom. From the federal register.


    Proposed Rule.


    As part of the President’s Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, the Department of State proposes to amend the International Traffic in ArmsRegulations (ITAR) to update the definitions of “defense article,” “defense services,” “technical data,” “public domain,” “export,” and “reexport or retransfer” in order to clarify the scope of activities and information that are covered within these definitions and harmonize the definitions with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), to the extent appropriate. Additionally, the Department proposes to create definitions of “required,” “technical data that arises during, or results from, fundamental research,” “release,” “retransfer,” and “activities that are not exports, reexports, or retransfers” in order to clarify and support the interpretation of the revised definitions that are proposed in this rulemaking. The Department proposes to create new sections detailing the scope of licenses, unauthorized releases of information, and the “release” of secured information, and revises the sections on “exports” of “technical data” to U.S. persons abroad. Finally, the Department proposes to address the electronic transmission and storage of unclassified “technical data” via foreign communications infrastructure. This rulemaking proposes that the electronic transmission of unclassified “technical data” abroad is not an “export,” provided that the data is sufficiently secured to prevent access by foreign persons. Additionally, this proposed rule would allow for the electronic storage of unclassified “technical data” abroad, provided that the data is secured to prevent access by parties unauthorized to access such data. The revisions contained in this proposed rule are part of the Department of State’s retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 first submitted on August 17, 2011.


    Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revisions to Definitions of Defense Services, Technical Data, and Public Domain; Definition of Product of Fundamental Research

    • MrEllis

      I think you are crying wolf no matter how much you come here and try to netsplain it. This is not the end of firearms blogs, this isn’t even close. Now you try to explain it with an executive order that intends to clean up old regulations and force them to conform to new and existing laws and treaties in place. It’s standard government housekeeping every president has done since the first. Your bias is showing.

      • Rock or Something

        I dunno, this is the same Administration that had it’s pants down when Chinese hackers compromise our Federal database in one of the biggest cyber hacks of all time. So color me cynical to think they are capable of properly vetting technical data and publications in regards to firearms, in line with the first and second amendments. Especially at this late of the political game, after all their failures at trying to push various gun control measures in smaller chunks.

        Now would TFB and other publications/blogs automatically go away if this passed into regulatory aether? Probable not right away, but I can imagine a very bored, statist government ideologue somewhere, would have very little problem censuring articles and content because it violates the spirit of the newly “cleaned” up law by executive order.

        Why people choose to give more excuses to the powers at hand is beyond me.

        • MrEllis

          Anyone who has obviously lived off the government shouldn’t use the word “statist government ideologue” with a straight face.

  • I made this for you guys! Enjoy!

  • Ok so you admit you didn’t read the post. That being the case there’s no reason to continue the discussion along these lines.

    • MrEllis

      Yeah, that’s probably it.

  • Joel Schneider

    The Firearm Blog Just got Political

    • All Ah You Guys

      And thank God for that!

    • MrEllis

      Wish there was a website about firearms that wasn’t. Discus doesn’t help.

  • whskee

    Whoa, there’s an unusual sudden influx of vocal Lefty Cheerleaders about, where are they linking in from? It’s almost like someone’s upset that people are raising a red flag and asking WTF as if there haven’t been enough little cuts and attacks to give reason to raise alarm this time too.

  • jeffrey melton

    He who controls information controls the population. Liberals run and teach in our schools. Information control is why o-bama signed the internet away giving it to the UN. Liberal teachers beget liberal students, they have won if we don’t teach our children right from wrong. Remember your history, slave owners didn’t want their slaves to read or write. Because if they could learn to read they might think for themselves, something slave owners and dictators don’t want.

    • MrEllis

      Heh. Yeah.

      • Miles

        Glad you agree.
        Or was your post supposed to be ‘sarcastic’.
        Gotcha Backatcha

  • sleff52

    Please don’t go the way of NRA paranoia and infowars..

    • MrEllis

      I got bad news for you…

  • King Obama trying to screw over both the first and second amendment at the same time