The US administration reportedly plans to ease rules on American manufacturers selling small guns and assault rifles overseas.
The US State Department is working to move US government’s authorization of exports of non-military firearms and ammunition to the Commerce Department’s jurisdiction keeping the military grade exports under State Department jurisdiction, The Hill quoted an administration official as saying Thursday.
The proposed rule change is headed to the White House budget office in the coming days and would cut regulatory red tape, boost US gun exports and create new jobs, Reuters reported quoting unnamed administration officials.
Democratic Sens. Ben Cardin (Md.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.) sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday asking him not to make changes to International Trafficking in Arms regulations for small arms, light weapons and associated equipment and ammunition without carefully considering the consequences, the news daily reported.
"As you are aware, combat firearms and ammunition are uniquely lethal; they are easily spread and easily modified, and are the primary means of injury, death and destruction in civil and military conflicts around the world," the senators wrote. "As such, they should be subject to more - not less - rigorous export controls and oversight."
The Department of Commerce directed questions to the White House. In an email, a White House official said "the administration is working through the interagency process with the State Department and the Department of Commerce to ensure that US industries have every advantage in the global marketplace, while at the same time ensuring the responsible export of arms."