Just received my latest copy of Front Sight from the USPSA, and it has this really frightening article about the "International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR)" treaty, and how the State Department, through the "Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC)", is mandated to keep track of "defense exports" as required by the treaty. The article goes on to say that the DDTC has been humming along for years, controlling international trade in firearms and military equipment, until our most recent President Bush decided to make the DDTC 75% self-funding - meaning the DDTC could now levy its own taxes. This has lead to an explosive increase in the registration fees the DDTC charges. Given the wording in the treaty, any exporter of firearms parts or accessories, including exporters of ammunition and ammunition components, is now being charged exorbitant fees under the treaty by the DDTC. So any outfit that exports these components is paying out the nose to stay in business, and if they also supply to the domestic market (which most do), the article suggests it's very likely they're passing this pain on to their customers in the United States. For example, Dave Skinner of STI is quoted in the article as saying that "in three years, the changes took us from $750 per year, to $1750, to $18500 per year in export costs". The article also specifically mentions the impact of the fee increases to Brownell's and Smith & Wesson, but the clear implication in the article is how the fee increases are likely to impact the cost of components here in the United States. Based on this article, and with BHO now at the helm, I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for prices of firearms, ammunition or any related components or accessories to drop anytime soon.