Why you never ship a scope to a buddy outside the USA

Countrylife

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From the referenced article:
possible breaches of weapons export regulations, and is looking into illegal exports of the ATN scope used with the app
and the interpretation from the post:
Scopes are the same as stinger missiles and land mines in the eyes of the law:
No, That's not a correct interpretation. The problem is the technology. Some of the more advanced technology is not allowed to be exported to protect our industry and military capability. And this includes some of the microprocessor chips that are embedded in some products making the product not exportable. It is difficult to know if something is prohibited. I only worked on the periphery of export issues many years ago so I'm sure someone has better and more current explanation than I do.
 

Tango

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It all falls under ITAR regulation. Optics, magazines, sights, tactical lights, night vision etc even some types of training. Nothing to fool with. When in doubt check with the manufacturer before shipping anything like this internationally.
 

Newboomer

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One more little step to destroying our privacy and anything to do with guns and hunting.
 

rookhawk

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It all falls under ITAR regulation. Optics, magazines, sights, tactical lights, night vision etc even some types of training. Nothing to fool with. When in doubt check with the manufacturer before shipping anything like this internationally.
Yep. The point being, that the Feds aren’t chuckling at the sale of that rifle scope on eBay, sent overseas. Whether it’s a tasco from 1980 or a Flir thermal system, they are getting anxious to prosecute.

The interesting thing this time is they are demanding Apple and Google tell them every person that downloaded the setup app, inferring that they own the scope. Think about that: they know every person that bought that scope and the IP address and geolocation of those owners.

If they are successful with this one, they could just as easily ask for every eBay seller and buyer that bought any riflescope across national borders. (And infer who has guns)

Back door gun registration lists my friends.
 

Ridge Runner

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Newboomer,

This has nothing to do with our privacy or trying to take away our 2A rights, or hunting!

This has everything to do with protecting: Our military personnel and Americans living or traveling abroad. It also aids in denying poachers technology to poach the animals we pay money to hunt.
 

Red Leg

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Newboomer,

This has nothing to do with our privacy or trying to take away our 2A rights, or hunting!

This has everything to do with protecting: Our military personnel and Americans living or traveling abroad. It also aids in denying poachers technology to poach the animals we pay money to hunt.
Exactly correct.

Where this can get you in real trouble is when your new best friend from say South Africa asks you to buy him a scope and bring it to him. A quality company will note in its add that the product may be ITAR restricted. But, it is often fine print that not everyone notices. You bring it to him, he offers you a zebra in trade and all is well until the Feds ask you to see it. In this case, not only would you have provided it to an unauthorized international user, but smuggled it out of the country as well.
 

Newboomer

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Bingo on both counts but it could be used to invade our privacy. I am very suspicious of every govt program, investigation, inquiry, etc. that involves guns and hunting. We know that there are those who will stop at nothing to disarm us and they are very clever at how they label it.
 

Alistair

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As far as my understanding goes, scopes that are either more than 10x magnification, and / or optics with ranging reticules such as mildots fall under ITAR and are non-exportable without appropriate permits.

Typical hunting optics are generally ok, its more scopes for competition shooting or long range stuff that you'll run into difficulty with. I think laser range finder equipped scopes, NV tech, as well as those with software for hold over or the like are also restricted.

Frankly, I think it's a bit of a farce. I hardly think the US has any optic technology that would be even remotely applicable to hunting or target shooting that isn't readily available from European or Japanese suppliers, so having such stringent restrictions really just results in a loss of business for US manufacturers. The only genuinely class leading stuff that might be unique to the US is in areas such as ballistics software possibly, or maybe high end NV, but how much of that kinda thing is useful or available to civilians anyway?

Certainly if I wanted a high end target scope, I'd be thinking S&B or maybe Zeiss first and foremost, with american options such as Vortex being firmly a 'mid-range' option, albeit nearly as good at half the money. I can also walk into my local shop here and buy a Vortex, but try to save some money by picking one up whilst in the states and bring it back? Heaven forbid.
 

Hank2211

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In an effort not to miss anything they want to catch, those who drafted the rules drafted them as broadly as possible. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, because in the past you could often, if not normally, relied on some discretion being applied in terms of enforcement. These days, every breach is treated as seriously as any other breach, regardless of whether or not you're some unlucky sap who felling a problem.

A few years ago I was looking at buying a Swarovski Z6i scope at SCI. When I came to pay, the vendor (EuroOptic) looked at my Canadian credit card and asked if I was from Canada. I said yes, and he told me it was illegal to export the scope from the US without a permit. And that I was unlikely to get a permit, because those who gave them out said they didn't have time to deal with these sorts of one-off sales. I asked what was so secret about this scope - and the response was the illumination technology. I should point out that the scope was manufactured in Austria, and was readily available in Canada, though at a higher price. It was also available elsewhere in the world. There was no US technology in the scope. End result, I paid more and got mine in Canada. Did this protect any US interests? Certainly none that I could figure out - if the goal was to keep illumination technology out of the hands of foreigners, it was a shame that it was a foreign company which first offered it to global hunters. I have run into this problem with certain binos and night vision equipment, all also readily available in Canada, since.

It's unfortunate that well-intentioned hunters (I do not knowingly want to violate any laws) can so easily run afoul of something which can be very serious. Wouldn't the world be a better and safer place if resources were focussed on the bad guys?
 

Red Leg

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It is also something of a two-way street. Many countries limit ownership of products freely available in this country. As @Hank2211 notes, the laws are written pretty broadly, but it is to force a review opportunity. When I was in the Defense industry, we had whole teams of lawyers and export specialists to work these issues when making international bids - why one so often reads of the “export version” of a given military technology.

In this specific case, I would assume some of these scopes have ended up where they shouldn’t, and obviously, the download would offer a potential shortcut in the investigation.
 

Foxi

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blind actionism of the authorities to show them do something, even if there is no sense behind it.
Every interesting product that is available on the free market, has long been examined by interested services, often even before it is on the patent office.
"One more little step to destroying our privacy and anything to do with guns and hunting".
Very true.Very sad.
 

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Speaking as a Canadian hunter with an interest in the products that go along with the sport, these rules are very frustrating. America truly is the "Land of Plenty" when it comes to the retail sector, no matter what industry we are talking about. The buyimg power in the U.S. is simply staggering, when compared to most other countries, Canada included.
To give you an idea of what I mean, my wife was replacing her car this year, and decided on a Nissan Rogue and wanted a specific colour. The sales guy at the delearship was trying to track one down, but missed out on a couple because he was too slow to act, and the cars were "re-routed". When I asked what that meant, he told me that if a dealership in the States wanted the same car, they had priority, and the car was sent there first. When I asked why, he said that the market for new cars in the STATE of California, was larger than the market for new cars in the entire country of Canada.
This buying power allows U.S. retailers to buy in bulk, then pass on the savings to the consumer. So, when I am online and spot a good deal on something as innocuous as a pair of binoculars, or hunting scope, and attempt to purchase it, being denied at the checkout page does not make sense to me. The same products are generally available here, but at a much inflated rate.
It does not seem to me that any "national secrets" are being protected by not shipping a product over an imaginary line on a map. More like the middle man is getting rich by taking advantage of some arbitrary set of sweeping rules that really should not apply in these instances.
P.S. The Leupold VX R 2-7x33 scope I used to shoot the pig in my photo, the one to the left of my little rant here, was bought in Canada, and yes I paid too much for it.
 

flatwater bill

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Dean, thanks for the post. Had no idea that the market for new cars in California was greater than in all of Canada. (perhaps they are living in them) But it makes sense, when looking at population numbers. Never thought about exporting a scope to Canada, but have taken them on my firearms to Canada, no problem. This whole thread about illegality of sending a scope to an international friend is totally surprising to me. Good to know.....FWB
 

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Yes FWB, I guess it all comes down to how you interpret the rules. I look at it as a minor irritation more than anything. It just ends up costing me more money for the products I wish to use in the end.
It's funny, I took that scope across the border and used it to go hog hunting in Texas, twice. No one seemed to question the fact that I could possibly be "smuggling contraband" either time. Makes you wonder what a professional smuggler can get away with?
 

Jeffro

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Just to add to the forbidden items list. I was recently stopped for an export check while leaving the US. The officials confiscated my snap caps, bore snakes, and rings and bases. I had no clue that these things were illegal to export, or that ammo was. For me, it made the difference between five bucks for a bore snake in the US (on sale) or 29.99 at the local Cabela's. I was told that an importer in Canada could acquire the things for me from the US distributors, so it really cannot be about the safety of Americans by restricting the sale of certain items as some of you have noted, and means that US businesses cannot benefit from Canadian customers. We, then, are stuck with a vastly limited selection of hunting products, and condemned to paying much higher amounts than our friends to the south for the same products. I certainly can understand the US wishing to control the outflow of sensitive technology, but Swaro scopes, Hoppe's bore snakes, US made shotgun shells?
 
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Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris

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Its all about money
Protecting sales and duties
All the technology is available in any developed country in the world
Just at different prices
Because different countries add various duties on imported products
 

sgt_zim

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Its all about money
Protecting sales and duties
All the technology is available in any developed country in the world
Just at different prices
Because different countries add various duties on imported products
Not entirely accurate, but certainly to a great extent. I'm an IT security engineer for a company with significant ITAR-related business. Our robotics are orbiting earth as well as deep under the sea. We have quite a bit of extra digital stuff around the guys producing ITAR-controlled items and software.
 

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I sent a care package including a Crosman pellet pistol, Bushnell trail camera and spare batteries, Bushnell 4500 1.25-4x scope (set up as a backup for my rifle), a couple of knives, etc to my PH in RSA. $177 US Priority mail! It disappeared before it ever got out of the US! Almost a year ago now. Nightmare trying to get info or anything out of the USPS!
 

GuttormG

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Its all about money
Protecting sales and duties
All the technology is available in any developed country in the world
Just at different prices
Because different countries add various duties on imported products
For sport and hunting releated stuff this is 100% true. Only one hurt is American business.
 
 

 

 

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