A recent federal change has placed Keep & Bear in a precarious spot, and I (and gunsmiths in general) would be grateful for any help you could lend. Take a read and please contact your legislators, regardless of where you live. You can even write your governor!
A few of you may remember some commotion earlier this year when President Obama announced gun-control recommendations via Executive Actions. The Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls just recently released their response to his recommendations, posted July 22.
Independent of input or review, and without publicity, the Guidance document essentially redefines what firearms-related work can be considered “manufacturing.” While that seems fairly innocuous, it has sweeping implications.
As a result of the new definitions, the majority of gunsmithing is now considered manufacturing. As such, the gunsmith is technically obligated to obtain a different license type from the BATFE and register under ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations). Registration carries a $2250 fee per year.
Obviously, there are some shops that can absorb that. Mine cannot. Whether it’s reasonable, or even an effective means to accomplishing the purposes of ITAR is an entirely separate issue.
I’m considering a legal approach, but in the meantime, please please share the fool out of this and help local small businesses around the country be heard among their legislators.