Exporting firearms can be lucrative but such exports do trigger unique requirements. Below, we endeavor to briefly highlight those requirements and other notable aspects of firearms exports.

  1. Not All Firearms are ITAR-Controlled. Non-automatic and semi-automatic firearms equal to .50 caliber (12.7 mm) or less, non-automatic and non-semi-automatic rifles, carbines, revolvers or pistols with a caliber greater than .50 inches (12.7 mm) but less than or equal to .72 inches (18.0 mm), and shotguns are all controlled under the EAR, thus availing exporters of such firearms of the EAR’s more liberal licensing regime.
  2. Licensing Exceptions for EAR-Controlled Firearms are Relatively Limited. Although the EAR typically allows for more license exceptions than the ITAR, Section 740 of the EAR contains a variety of limitations on the applicability of its exceptions to firearms, such as that contained in Subsection 740.2(a)(23), which prohibits the use of a license exception for certain firearms exports above $4,000,000).
  3. The Congressional Notification Threshold is Low. The export of most defense articles triggers a requirement for Congressional notification (and approval) for sales starting at $25,000,000, depending on the end user. However, the value threshold for an ITAR-controlled firearms export that requires Congressional notification and approval is comparatively low ($1,000,000) regardless of the end user.
  4. Import Authorizations May be Required. A permanent export license application for ITAR-controlled firearms must include an import authorization from the end user. Import authorizations are also required for certain exports of EAR-controlled firearms.
  5. Brokering Licenses are Always Required. Unlike many other types of defense articles, the brokering of ITAR-controlled firearms always requires prior approval from DDTC in the form of a brokering license.

About the Author

Author Adam Munitz is the head of Fluet’s International Trade + Transactions practice. Focusing primarily on the defense, security, and intelligence sectors, Adam helps businesses translate their domestic successes into overseas growth and assist foreign entities with sensitive investments in, and acquisitions of, U.S. businesses. Additional information regarding practice capabilities and previous representations can be found on the International Trade + Transactions practice page.