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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Clarifying the State Department Proposal Post

Last Friday, I posted about a report in that day's edition of the Shooting Wire regarding a possible proposal that the State Department was floating related to a ban on the export of several calibers of ammo to Canada from the United States.

On Wednesday, Mr. Shepherd wrote about this again, clarifying some of the terms used in the original report. He wrote:

Last Friday, we reported that Canadian authorities had sent word of a United States State Department proposal that would ban several ammo calibers sale by United States companies to Canada. It's safe to say that the story kicked off quite a storm on both sides of the border.

In Canada, calls to their Parliament protested the idea that whole classes of ammo could, effectively, be stopped at the border. Here in the US, it taught me to be a good bit more exact with the concepts of import and export. The intent of the story was simple - to let our readers know the United States Department of State was considering a ban on the export of US ammo in several calibers to Canada.

Although the .50 BMG, 7.62 x39mm Soviet, 7.61 x51 NATO, .308 Winchester, 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington are considered by some to be purely military rounds, they are, in fact, very effective for hunting anything from varmints to polar bears. The US State Department, however, seemed to be trying to use the military application of those rounds and classify them as for military sales only. Technically, it's not a "gun ban" or even an "ammo ban" but a "reclassification" - but the effect would be the same. Those calibers of ammo would be restricted export items for American companies.

Another whispered action, the requirement that all firearms require DSP-83 End Use Certificates (and the $250 export fee per firearm) was also apparently couched as another reclassification. Again, not a ban, but a very effective "non-ban" on gun sales.

Fortunately, we're starting to hear some denials of these ideas - from both sides of the border. The denials are coming from some normally anti-gun politicians in Canada, leading our sources in Parliament to suspect the protests from Canadian gun owners had an impact. As expected, our officials "can't comment on something that's only been proposed" but it seems the idea may be losing steam. And it should.

Shepherd had a simple intent in writing about this last week (and it was also my intent when posting about it and linking to the story on this blog) - to let readers know the United States Department of State was considering a proposal that affects the industry and gun owners - specifically a ban on the export of ammo in several calibers from the U.S. to Canada.

The title of our original post should have been clearer and for that I apologize. It does not change the fact however that the story and the resulting post on this blog was based on reliable information. It is because of the effectiveness of the "new media" in getting information to the public and the resulting quick reaction that such proposals may end up not seeing the light of day.

Gun owners need to be aware that there are other ways to attack our rights in addition to passing legislation. Government agencies can enact regulations and there is the avenue of Executive Orders. Both can adversely impact our rights.

Thanks to Jim Shepherd for sharing the information last Friday and for update in the Wednesday edition of the Shooting Wire.

Hat tip to Ronaldus Magnus.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

We send our kids off to war in countries that had no threat to us at all and call that "fighting for freedom" and all the while the largest and ,in my view the only, threat to our freedom is our own government. Why is that? because we fail to keep them in check. We must have more unity in this country and stop being so easy to divide (i.e. race,religion). We are one country and we have to act like it or we loose.