If you love your 2nd Amendment, this is your call to action!
Obama is “reworking” the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and, yes, it will affect you! According to the NRAILA, here’s what’s happening:
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.
While this proposal seems to a 2nd Amendment issue, which is important, even more important is the fact that it’s running rip shod over the 1st Amendment by defining what CANNOT be said on the internet, effectively placing a gag order on a particular “conversation”.
So what can you do about this? Well, this is still in the “proposal” phase, which means we all need to make some noise. Post it to social media, talk about it to other like-minded folks, and generally just get the word out that people need to TAKE ACTION! What action? They’re taking public comment until August 15th, 2015, so here’s your to-do list until then:
1. You can submit comments online at regulations.gov or via e-mail at DDTCPublicComments@state.gov Use the subject line “ITAR Amendment—Revisions to Definitions; Data Transmission and Storage” in your email.
2. Contact your Congressmen and demand that they vehemently oppose this blatant attempt to circumvent your Constitutional rights. Congressional Switchboard is (202) 225-3121.
3. Alternatively, you can use the “Write Your Lawmakers” feature on the nraila.org website.
[Ed. note: bold added throughout for editorial emphasis]
Photo credit KAZVorpal