For years I’ve been enjoying the hobby of gunsmithing, I’ve been modding my own Mosin Nagant rifles into a safer and better rifle for my own enjoyment. With the new ITAR regs that the President has put in place by executive order, there are things you can and and cannot do as a result. My hope is that this crazy executive order will get thrown out someday, but in the mean time following this list should keep you out of trouble. There is a PDF available HERE from the Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) Issuing Guidance on ITAR regulations.
According to the letter these do not require registration for ITAR.
a) Occasional assembly of firearm parts and kits that do not require cutting, drilling, or machining;
b) Firearm repairs involving one-for-one drop-in replacement parts that do not require any cutting, drilling, or machining for installation;
c) Repairs involving replacement parts that do not improve the accuracy, caliber, or other aspects of firearm operation;
d) Hydrographic paint or Cerakote application or bluing treatments for a firearm;
e) Attachment of accessories to a completed firearm without drilling, cutting, or machining—such as attaching a scope, sling, or light to existing mounts or hooks, or attaching a flash suppressor, sound suppressor, muzzle brake, or similar item to a pre- threaded muzzle;
f) Cosmetic additions and alterations (including engraving) that do not improve the accuracy, caliber, or other aspects of firearm operation beyond its original capabilities;
g) Machining new dovetails or drilling and tapping new holes for the installation of sights which do not improve the accuracy or operation of the firearm beyond its original capabilities; and
h) Manual loading or reloading of ammunition of .50 caliber or smaller.
Those involved in these activities are required to register with ITAR:
a) Use of any special tooling or equipment upgrading in order to improve the capability of assembled or repaired firearms;
b) Modifications to a firearm that change round capacity;
c) The production of firearm parts (including, but not limited to, barrels, stocks, cylinders, breech mechanisms, triggers, silencers, or suppressors);
d) The systemized production of ammunition, including the automated loading or reloading of ammunition;
e) The machining or cutting of firearms, e.g., threading of muzzles or muzzle brake installation requiring machining, that results in an enhanced capability;
f) Rechambering firearms through machining, cutting, or drilling;
g) Chambering, cutting, or threading barrel blanks; and
h) Blueprinting firearms by machining the barrel.
This is terrible for the do it your self gunsmith who simply works on his or her own firearm for their own pleasure and does not sell them. There is a way to still get these services performed but you’ll need to send your rifle out to a ITAR registered gunsmith.
I know of some reasonable gunsmiths that are registered with ITAR, I’ll be modding our links list to show those that are. I’m going to try and work out a a deal with some of them to get my users discounts. This is another reason that we MUST get out and vote!
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