On May 14, the Department of Commerce (BIS) in conjunction with the Department of State (DDTC) issued newly proposed rules for the export classification of firearms, guns, ammunition and other articles. Under these new rules, many items previously controlled by the DDTC’s US Munitions List (USML) and regulated by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) will be shifted instead to the Commerce Control List (CCL) and regulated by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

The proposed rule described how many articles under USML Category I – Firearms, Close Assault Weapons and Combat Shotguns; Category II – Guns and Armament; and Category III – Ammunition/Ordnance will now be reclassified under the CCL. This proposed rule is being published simultaneously with a companion proposed rule by the Department of State that would revise Categories I, II, and III of the USML to describe more precisely the articles warranting continued control under said list.

The review was focused on identifying the types of articles that are now controlled on the USML that are either (i) inherently military and otherwise warrant control on the USML or (ii) is of a type common to non-military firearms applications, possess parameters or characteristics that provide a critical military or intelligence advantage to the United States, and are almost exclusively available from the United States. If an article satisfies one or both of those criteria, the article remains on the USML. If an article does not satisfy either criterion, it has been identified in the new Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) included in this proposed rule.