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Government Now Targeting Gunsmiths with Enormous Fees in Latest Gun Prohibition Measure

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Published on: August 9, 2016

The Second Amendment was written to restrict government. It was never written to restrict the people or a business in any way, shape or form. However, though the right to keep and bear arms has historically been understood as a right that comes from our Creator, both state and federal representatives have been infringing on that right with restrictions and regulations and have even been going after ammunition in an attempt to push a gun prohibition agenda. The latest measure comes from the Department of State, who has no legislative or interpretive authority when it comes to the Constitution or law.

Frank Miniter at Forbes writes:

My gunsmith has a lathe, a drill press, even a barrel reamer. He uses them to repair guns. To him, they are like a car mechanic’s welding equipment, drill and cutter tools. He never thought drilling out a broken-off screw or grinding down a gun part to make a rifle’s action work smoother would define him as a “manufacturer.” But now, according to the federal government, he is a manufacturer and is required to pay a $2,250 annual fee as mandated by the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) regulations. This is what the Obama administration is now saying in a rule change.

Manta lists 15,615 gunsmiths in American today. Many of these are small shops—many of them are even side businesses for people who began tinkering with guns and then went to a gunsmith school. Requiring these people to pay $2,250 every year will drive many of them out of business or underground. Perhaps that is the reason for the rule change from the Obama administration. If there is another reason, they aren’t making it public.

This “guidance” for federal regulators from the U.S. Department of State was issued on July 22.

This is not only an attack on guns, but also an attack on businesses when we are already experiencing a failing economy.

Gunsmiths will not have to register themselves as gun manufacturers, which is absolutely ridiculous considering they don’t actually manufacture a single gun. Gunsmiths repair guns. It’s like demanding that garage owners must now be labeled car manufacturers.

However, the new guidelines do list a few things which should not be considered manufacturing, such as “Occasional assembly of firearm parts and kits that do not require cutting, drilling, or machining,” and “Firearm repairs involving one-for-one drop-in replacement parts that do not require any cutting, drilling, or machining for installation.” 

So, you can assemble parts, but if you need to drill, machine or cut a part of the gun, then you are a manufacturer. This is just silly. It is another means of control and pushing small businesses out of business.

Additional guidelines are just as silly.

The third activity is where the guidelines get strange: “Repairs involving replacement parts that do not improve the accuracy, caliber, or other aspects of firearm operation.” What is meant by these activities is confusing in several respects. While accuracy and “operation” of a firearm can be improved, improving caliber is subjective. Is a .45 an improvement over a 9 mm? Which is better between the 7.62×39 mm and the 300 Blackout? Maybe what is meant is any change in caliber, whether an improvement or not, but that is not what is stated…

…What changes to accuracy constitute manufacturing? Outside of barrel rifling, in most cases accuracy has more to do with the shooter, practice, and ammunition. Would sight replacement constitute manufacturing? Sights do not make the gun any more accurate, they only make it easier for the user to shoot more accurately…

…What are improvements “beyond its original capabilities? Would the addition of replacement night sights, fiber optic sights, red-dot sights, a scope, or a scope with greater magnification or better glass improve the accuracy or operation of the firearm? Again, sights and scopes do not affect the inherent accuracy of the gun, but they obviously improve the operation of the firearm.

One question I would like to ask is this, who wrote these guidelines? No, really. Did they come from lobbyists who own really big gun companies who are attempting to push out the little man, sort of like we see in Ayn Rand‘s Atlas Shrugged? Or is this just simply bureaucrats who are usurping their authority on their own to push an agenda?

It could be a bit of both, only if bigger manufacturers are actually this stupid to get in bed with government, then they have to know that the government will one day turn on them too. I’d say this is nothing more than seeing how far the people will let government infringe on their rights.

Joshua Krause makes similar comments in his article as he speaks about weeding out smaller gunsmiths and then later applying them to larger ones.

“After all,” he writes, “the last thing the government wants after they take away your guns, is a large population of angry and unemployed gunsmiths who know how to make guns.”

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