STATEMENT: By Weakening Firearm Export Oversight, Trump Sides With Gun Industry Over American People

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Trump administration finalized a rule that will weaken oversight of firearms exports and make it easier for dangerous military-style weapons to end up in the hands of violent criminal organizations and human rights abusers around the world. In response, Chelsea Parsons, vice president for Gun Violence Prevention at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

This action demonstrates once again that the Trump administration serves to represent the interests of the gun lobby, rather than the American people. Not only is this administration refusing to take action to address the public health epidemic of gun violence in this country, but this new rule will also weaken oversight of the exportation of assault weapons and other deadly military-style firearms and ammunition, further contributing to the use of U.S.-sourced firearms in acts of horrific violence abroad.

Rather than working to increase profits for the gun industry, the Trump administration should be laser-focused on enacting policies that will reduce gun deaths and make all of our communities safer—both at home and abroad.

The rule finalized today will shift oversight of the exportation of many types of small arms—including assault-style semi-automatic rifles—from the U.S. State Department to the U.S. Department of Commerce and will eliminate congressional review over these transactions. This proposal has raised a number of concerns among national security and human rights experts, who caution that such a move could weaken oversight of these transactions and potentially make it easier for these exported firearms to be diverted to violent criminal organizations abroad.

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