Firearm Export : Federal Firearm Export Rule Change

Position: Oppose Status: The Act is on hold by Congressman Menendez but same language is now Amdt 512 of HR 2500

Under the rule change, American-made guns, including semi-automatics like AR-15s, could easily find their way into the hands of criminals and terrorists overseas. This page provides information about the Torres Amendment (512) of the NDAA which blocks the rule change and is supported by Ceasefire Oregon, as well as other information concerning the Firearm Export Rule Change.

Congressman Blumenauer: 503-231-2300
Congresswoman Bonamici: 503-469-6010
Congressman DeFazio: 541-465-6732
Congressman Schrader: 503-588-9100
Congressman Walden: 541-389-4408
Congresswoman Torres of California: 909-481-6474

Update


July 11, 2019: The House passed Congresswoman Torres's Amendment. It is now Amendment 512 of HR 2500 (NDAA). The Torres Amendment (512) will prohibit the president from moving weapons export licensing from the State Department to the Commerce Department.
July 10, 2019: Congresswoman Torres [D-CA 35] added Amendment #10 to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020. Amendment #10 would prohibit the president from moving weapons export licensing from the State Department to the Commerce Department.
February 28, 2019: Sen. Robert Menendez (D NJ), a ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee and a senior Democratic senator, has blocked the Trump administration proposed rule to switch oversight authority of firearm sales abroad from the State Department to the Commerce Department, arguing the move would significantly weaken congressional oversight and increase the risk of terrorists and criminals getting their hands on powerful military-grade weapons.

More Information:

On July 10, 2019, Congresswoman Torres submitted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, HR 2500). The amendment, now called Amendment 512 or the Torres Amendment, passed the House on a vote of 225 – 205. The Oregon Congress members who voted for the amendment are Congressman Blumenauer, Congresswoman Bonamici, and Congressman DeFazio. Voting against Amendment 512 are Congressman Schrader and Congressman Walden.

Amendment 512 will stop a proposed federal rule change concerning the oversight of gun exports from the State Department to the Commerce Department. The American gun industry has been fighting for this change so they can increase their overseas profits.

Here are the specifics about what the proposed rule change would do:

  • Eliminate Congressional oversight for important gun export deals.
  • Transfer the cost of processing licenses from gun manufacturers to taxpayers.
  • Enable unchecked gun production in the U.S. and exports abroad by removing the block on 3D printing of firearms.
  • Reduce transparency and reporting on gun exports.
  • Transfer gun export licensing from an agency with a mission to promote stability, human rights, and reduce conflict to an agency with a mission to promote trade and which lacks the resources to adequately enforce export controls.

Donald Trump could disregard Senator Menendez’s hold, which is not legally binding but is based on decades of bipartisan tradition.

Amendment 512 will also face votes in the Senate. Please call Oregon Senators Wyden, and Merkley to tell them to support the Torres Amendment 512 of the NDAA which will BLOCK the proposed rule change to switch oversight authority of firearm sales abroad from the State Department to the Commerce Department. The change will significantly weaken congressional oversight and increase the risk of terrorists and criminals getting their hands on powerful military-grade weapons.

Senator Wyden: 503-326-7525

Senator Merkley: 503-326-3386

“Trump administration to publish proposed rule changes for gun exports: official”

Written by Mike Stone, edited by Jonathan Oatis, published by Reuters, May 22, 2018:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration is preparing to publish on Thursday long-delayed proposed rule changes for the export of U.S. firearms, a State Department official said on Tuesday.

The rule changes would move the oversight of commercial firearm exports from the U.S. Department of State to the Department of Commerce.

The action is part of a broader Trump administration overhaul of weapons export policy that was announced in April.

Timing for the formal publication of the rule change and the opening of the public comment period was unveiled by Mike Miller the acting secretary for the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, the State Department’s body that currently oversees the bulk of commercial firearms transfers and other foreign military sales. He was speaking at the Forum on the Arms Trade’s annual conference at the Stimson Center, a Washington think tank.

Reuters first reported on the proposed rule changes in September as the Trump administration was preparing to make it easier for American gun makers to sell small arms, including assault rifles and ammunition, to foreign buyers.

Domestic gun sales have fallen significantly after soaring under President Barack Obama, when gun enthusiasts stockpiled weapons and ammunition out of fear that the government would tighten gun laws.

A move by the Trump administration to make it simpler to sell small arms abroad may generate business for gun makers American Outdoor Brands (AOBC.O) and Sturm Ruger & Company (RGR.N) in an industry experiencing a deep sales slump since the election of President Donald Trump.

Remington, America’s oldest gun maker, filed for bankruptcy protection in March, weeks after a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 people and triggered intensified campaigns for gun control by activists. Remington emerged from bankruptcy last week.

The expected relaxing of rules could increase foreign gun sales by as much as 20 percent, the National Sports Shooting Foundation has estimated. As well as the industry’s big players, it may also help small gunsmiths and specialists who are currently required to pay an annual federal fee to export relatively minor amounts of products.