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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Will State Silence Speech On Firearms?

How many times have you turned to YouTube for gunsmithing, reloading or ballistics help? New regulations from the Obama administration now threaten to ban such videos and send their makers to prison.

According to the June 3 issue of the Federal Register, the State Department plans to reinterpret the International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulations. The new rules would classify posting firearms-related information on the Internet as “exporting,” and would require a permit from the State Department prior to posting. Penalties include up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million per violation.

This rule change would represent a huge prior restraint on free speech and a violation of the First Amendment. DIY info on websites such as Brownells.com and MidwayUSA.com, and public forums such as AR15.com and BrianEnos.com, could disappear, and their contributors would risk ruin.

Read more from NRA-ILA here.

Use Your Power!

Tell the State Department to stop the criminalization of firearms speech by posting at regulations.gov or e-mailing DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line, “ITAR Amendment—Revisions to Definitions; Data Transmission and Storage.” You can also contact your U.S. senators and member of Congress to urge them to oppose the State Department's attempt to censor online speech concerning the technical aspects of firearms and ammunition. DON’T WAIT! Public comment closes August 3. Call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 225-3121; or to find and email your legislators, click here.