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.
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.
"The ITAR, however, were originally promulgated in the days before the Internet. Some State Department officials now insist that anything published online in a generally-accessible location has essentially been 'exported,' as it would be accessible to foreign nationals both in the U.S. and overseas.
"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."
The only way they can try to pull this off is by using their favorite gag order, National Security.
Other than that, it is blatantly a violation of the First Amendment. Without even a molecule of doubt.
Besides all that and whatever these assclowns think they can get away with, my first question to these fucking morons is what do they propose to do about the literally MILLIONS of articles, Blog posts, Chat Room Histories ,videos and who knows what all, that ALREADY EXIST?!
I seem to recall the government trying to close the barn door after the horses got out back when they tried to stop the proliferation of the 3D printed Plastic Gun plans that went around the entire planet in under 24 hours after they tried to shut it down.
Take that one case for an example and extrapolate the possible number of cases like it, to infinity.
Do they seriously think they can stop the transfer of information of any kind in this day and age?
If they do, they are absolutely kidding themselves.
It's pathetic attempt to squelch free speech and the freedom of the press by using a back handed method. It is also a very desperate move by this administration.
I would classify it as a Hail Mary Play, throw it up and pray it works.
As far as I can see it doesn't matter if they can somehow bullshit their way into getting it passed, there is no physical way they can stop the flow of information, even if they shut down the internet.
As a matter of fact, I can see the backlash to this being everybody and their dog who has even the slightest scrap of information about the most unheard of firearms in the world, getting organized and publishing it all en mass on a given day.
Can you imagine such a thing? Basically the entire history of firearms is out there on line somewhere and that doesn't include the commentary that has accumulated over the years already.
Do you have any idea just how many Terrabites of data that would be?
Does our government?
Obviously not because they seem to think that with some wishful thinking and a fancy pen that they can control the flow of information on that scale from all around the entire world.
It would be like trying to regulate the individual grains of sand on a very large beach.
Enforcing such a thing would be impossible.
These clowns couldn't even stop a special interest piece, let alone the entire history of firearms in a digital format.
I say let the foot stomping, threats, sniveling and the frantic arm waving commence. The government has just bitten off way more than they can chew.
We shall see where the bear shits in the woods in short order after that.