The Trump administration is attempting to reduce red tape for firearms manufacturers, which would allow them to be more profitable and compete on the international market. However, legislation has been introduced by anti-gun members of Congress that could derail the effort.
Unlike the prior administration, the Trump administration has a focus on business—all business—which includes promoting, rather than hindering, the firearms industry. The latest proof has been the efforts to streamline the process for exporting American firearms. Firearms manufacturers have been seeking a loosening of restrictions for years, and now, it looks like it will be a reality.
A proposed rule, expected to be published in the Federal Register this week, promises to transfer jurisdiction of consumer gun exports from the State Department to the Commerce Department. Historically, the State Department has made the licensing process expensive and lengthy. The Commerce Department, on the other hand, has a simpler application process.
Publication of the rule kicks off a 45-day comment period, after which departments including State and Commerce will review corrections and suggestions. The next step would then be to send a revised draft to Congress before final publication. Of course the makeup of the Congress after the midterms may well decide gun manufacturers future fate abroad.
To be fair, the revised process was first introduced during the Obama presidency, but the brakes were slammed on immediately after Sandy Hook in 2012 and never restarted.
Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) called the proposal “a significant positive development for the industry that will allow members to reduce costs and compete in the global marketplace more effectively, all while not in any way hindering national security.”
But critics of the proposal worry… well, suffice it to say they worry and spew their normal rhetoric including the belief that American guns, including AR-15s and similar semiautomatic rifles could more easily find their way into the hands of foreign criminals and result in more mass shootings—blah, blah, blah…
Representative Norma J. Torres, Democrat of California, has introduced legislation to keep oversight with the State Department, calling the proposed shift “dangerous.”
“It is very likely that the administration’s plan could be a boon for illegal weapons traffickers and their unsavory customers — from ISIS to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel,” according to the description of Torres bill.
However, this is nothing but a backdoor gun control attempt, similar to others that have emanated from the Left coast. A closer reading of the proposed changes proves the new oversight would only apply to firearms that are “widely available in retail outlets” to the Commerce Department. Firearms, and other items, that are “inherently for military end use” would remain under the control of the State Department.
At least the Trump administration recognizes the difference between a modern sporting rifle such as the AR-15 and those designed for military use.
How do you think the move to the Commerce Department will benefit firearms manufacturers? Do you agree with the switch? Share your answers in the comment section.
Sign up for K-Var’s weekly newsletter and discounts here.