Firearm Export : Federal Firearm Export Rule Change

Position: Oppose Status: Accepting comments at US Department of State and US Department of Commerce

A proposed federal rule would change 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.

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.

Update


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.

Here’s what the proposed rule change will 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.

On February 28, 2019, Senator Menendez (D NJ) placed a hold on the rule change. (Read more here.)

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

Call Senators Menendez, Wyden, and Merkley to tell them to 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 Menendez: 202.224.4744

Senator Wyden: 503-326-7525

Senator Merkley: 503-326-3386