KBZK: Regulation change could cost Montana gunsmiths

HELENA –U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines are part of a bipartisan effort to overturn a recent rule change they say could cost Montana gunsmiths thousands of dollars.

According to letters sent to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry by Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, the concern is that anyone who modifies a firearm could be classified as a “manufacturer.”

They would then have to register with the government as part of the International Traffic in Arms regulations and pay a $2,250 annual fee.

Helena gunsmith Dennis Erhardt tells MTN News that his margins are tight, and it would be a struggle just to pay the fee.

The regulations are part of the larger Arms Export Control Act, which gives the President authority to control the import and export of information, technology, and/or equipment used in defense.