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A civil rights victory

This seems like a big deal:

DOJ, SAF REACH SETTLEMENT IN DEFENSE DISTRIBUTED LAWSUIT

[snip]

SAF and Defense Distributed had filed suit against the State Department under the Obama administration, challenging a May 2013 attempt to control public speech as an export under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), a Cold War-era law intended to control exports of military articles.

Under terms of the settlement, the government has agreed to waive its prior restraint against the plaintiffs, allowing them to freely publish the 3-D files and other information at issue. The government has also agreed to pay a significant portion of the plaintiffs attorneys fees, and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed as a result of the prior restraint.

Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms are not inherently military.

More at the link.

4 Responses to “A civil rights victory”

  1. Lyle Says:

    That does indeed seem like a big deal, but it doesn’t appear that the victim in this case was fully compensated.

    “…non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms are not inherently military.”

    Oops! That would contradict the anti-rights agitators’ narrative which attampts to define the AR semi as “A Weapon of War”.

    And to pick a little nit; “50 caliber” is short for “50/100ths of an inch caliber” or one half inch. If you put a decimal point in front of it, it then says “0.50/100ths”. That’s one half of one one-hundredth of an inch, which equals 0.005″ (five one-thousandths of an inch) which is a very small bore indeed; less than half the diameter of the 17 caliber air guns.

    If taken litterally then (and what other way is there to take a court ruling?), the new ruling limits ALL firearm specifications to ITAR restrictions, and therefore maintains the earlier infringements. QED.

    If you’re determined to use the decimal in front of an inch-pattern caliber designation (such as would be the result of a tic in your hands as you’re typing, or a minor case of O.C.D.), then you’ll have to add an expression of units after it, e.g. .50″ caliber, so as to explain your departure from long-established convention.

  2. Ravenwood Says:

    Lyle,

    You’re wrong. Caliber is the diameter of the gun barrel and/or the bullet shot from it. It can be metric, hundredths of an inch, or thousandths of an inch.

    Isn’t 9mm a caliber? Or is that like saying 9mm hundredths of an inch? What about .357 Magnums? Under your definition it would be 35.7 or 35.7/100ths of an inch.

    Calibers can be properly expressed in any measurement. .50 is equivalent to 50/100ths of an inch. .500 Winchester Magnum is 500/1000ths of an inch. 9mm is 9 millimeters. I believe both 50 BMG and .50 BMG to be correct, with .50 actually being more accurate, not less. When I label my ammo I label it .45 ACP, not 45 ACP.

    Just my 2-cents. (or $0.02)

  3. Shootin' Buddy Says:

    Guys, geez, it is a journalist’s knowledge of firearms and firearms law, not Alan Gura’s. Both of you go read the definition of DDs in Title II and report back.

  4. Chris Says:

    >>> Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms are not inherently military

    Where do we get to see this on govt letterhead?