The export of pretty much anything to do with a firearm is tightly controlled. Even shooting instructors have to get special State Department permission to go teach classes outside of the United States. Needless to say, that includes selling gun parts.
However, as per usual, laws only really stop the law-abiding.
A Philadelphia man admitting in court his plan to smuggle more than $200,000 in firearm parts from the United States to Turkey and the Republic of Georgia.
Federal authorities said Ibrahim Karabatak, 35, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and U.S. anti-smuggling laws.
Karabatak admitted that from November 2018 through March 2019, he and other conspirators agreed to ship firearms parts from the United States to Turkey and the Republic of Georgia.
Karabatak and others used credit cards, Pay Pal accounts, and other forms of payment to purchase firearms parts from suppliers in the United States.
He would then repackage the firearms parts, falsely label the contents of the package, and export the firearms parts to customers in Turkey and the Republic of Georgia.
And, of course, since he falsely labeled the contents, he couldn’t claim ignorance of the laws governing such transactions.
Now, there are reasons for the export laws. For one, we don’t want people using our Second Amendment-protected freedoms to try and arm third-world tyrants elsewhere. Even parts can, in time, be used to build complete firearms.
While it’s unlikely Karabatak sold enough parts to really do anything like that, it’s kind of beside the point.
To be honest, I’m kind of furious about this. Not only did he break the law, but he did it in a way that may provide ammunition to anti-Second Amendment types to justify controls on more gun parts. Imagine having to undergo a background check for a new recoils spring or sear or magazine release in part because this dipstick started shipping parts overseas.
Not a good thing.
Yet that wouldn’t stop people like Karabatak. They’d buy the parts and undergo the background check, then ship them off. That’s because criminals do. Not. Obey. Laws.
If they won’t obey laws about exporting gun parts, what makes anyone believe they’ll somehow shrug when told they can’t have a gun? Of course they won’t. They’ll go out and get a gun anyway, either stealing one themselves or buying one from someone else who doesn’t care about the law.
That’s what criminals do.
So yeah, prosecute them when you catch them, but maybe also start to recognize that making things more difficult for law-abiding citizens isn’t really helping.
No, law-abiding citizens usually don’t need to export gun parts. But they do need a bunch of other stuff that anti-Second Amendment jihadists want to keep them from having, and therein lies the problem.
Those ideas wouldn’t stop criminals, but they will make it more difficult, if not impossible for law-abiding citizens to exercise their God-given right to keep and bear arms, and that’s a big problem.