The National Shooting Sports Foundation declared victory in defeating a group of Attorneys General who challenged to Trump administration’s relaxing of ITAR export rules. While that’s well and good for the firearm’s industry, they did it by throwing gun owners and hobbyists under the bus.
The NSSF protected their commercial exports by sacrificing the more “controversial” electronic files for 3D-printing and CNC-milling of firearms and parts, damaging home gunsmiths to protect their commercial export interests.
People need to remember that the NSSF is not a pro-gun rights organization. It is a firearms industry group. While we may, on occasion, share a specific goal, they are not a friend to gun owners. They will throw you under the bus if it is expedient to do so. They will side with us on any regulation would reduce their sales, such as one-gun-a-month laws, but do not otherwise count on them to have your back.
This is hardly the first time they’ve shown a willingness to do this. The NSSF backed NICS and an expansion of it. They did this to protect the industry’s image. If a firearm gets sold to a prohibited person, they can point at a NICS system failure. It costs the industry nothing, but it costs gun buyers and taxpayers millions of dollars every year. If keeping guns out of unvetted hands was their real goal, their retailers would never have hand me that GLOCK without knowing so much as knowing my name.
While the NSSF opposes universal background checks, to my knowledge they have never supported opening NICS to private sellers (preferably through a BIDS system with no records), except through FFLs charging a typical $25 (or more). They won’t call for universal background checks, but if it happens, they’ll make sure they get their cut.