Daines Leads 27 Senators in Urging State Department to Halt Misguided ITAR Changes

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Steve Daines today led a group of 27 Senators in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Anthony Dearth in response to proposed changes to definitions in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which has the potential to limit Americans’ freedom of speech and negatively impact Americans’ Second Amendment freedoms.

On June 3rd, the State Department proposed changes to modify several definitions in ITAR that would empower the federal government to regulate public use of any content that contains information about defense articles, which includes every common hunting and sports shooting rifle and handgun.

“We write to express our strong concerns regarding proposed changes to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the implications those changes hold for Americans’ First and Second Amendment rights,” the Senators wrote. “Conceivably, these new definitions could include information such as how to legally modify or assemble a generally available firearm, such as a hunting rifle or a self-defense handgun, or information on the development of new loading information for existing firearm ammunition. These types of activities are part and parcel of how many Americans exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

The Senators urged the State Department to modify or delay the rule, Accordingly, we urge the State Department to modify or delay these misguided changes to the ITAR in order to ensure they do not violate the First and Second Amendment or until commonly owned firearms and ammunition are not adversely impacted.”

The full text of the Senators’ letter can be found here.

The complete list of 28 Senators who signed the letter is as follows:

Senator Joni Ernst (IA)

Senator Jim Inhofe (OK)

Senator Orrin Hatch (UT)

Senator John Cornyn (TX)

Senator Bill Cassidy (LA)

Senator Mike Crapo (ID)

Senator James Lankford (OK)

Senator Roy Blunt (MO)

Senator Tom Cotton (AR)

Senator Mike Lee (UT)

Senator Dan Sullivan (AK)

Senator John Hoeven (ND)

Senator John Barrasso (WY)

Senator Marco Rubio (FL)

Senator Jerry Moran (KS)

Senator Steve Daines (MT)

Senator Johnny Isakson (GA)

Senator Shelley Moore Capito (WV)

Senator John Boozman (AR)

Senator David Vitter (LA)

Senator Thom Tillis (NC)

Senator David Perdue (GA)

Senator Mike Rounds (SD)

Senator Mike Enzi (WY)

Senator Rand Paul (KY)

Senator Ben Sasse (NE)

Senator Dean Heller (NV)

Senator John Thune (SD)