NRA: Gun Blogs, Videos, Web Forums Threatened By New Obama Regulation
by Paul Bedard
Commonly used and unregulated internet discussions and videos about guns and ammo could be closed down under rules proposed by the State Department, amounting to a “gag order on firearm-related speech,” the National Rifle Association is warning.
In updating regulations governing international arms sales, State is demanding that anyone who puts technical details about arms and ammo on the web first get the OK from the federal government — or face a fine of up to $1 million and 20 years in jail.
According to the NRA, that would include blogs and web forums discussing technical details of common guns and ammunition, the type of info gun owners and ammo reloaders trade all the time.
“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,” said the NRA in a blog posting.
“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,” warned the NRA’s lobbying shop. “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,” it added.
At issue is the internet. State is updating International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which implement the federal Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The rules govern everything from guns to strategic bombers.
The NRA said that the rules predate the internet, and now the federal government wants to regulate technical arms discussions on on the internationally available web.