GOP Senator Introduces Bill To Shield US Gun Exporters Amid Biden’s License Pause

( – Republican Senator Mike Lee has introduced legislation to protect US gun exporters. The bill is a response to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s 90-day pause on weapons export licenses, which was introduced in October. The federal government stopped issuing export licenses for all non-governmental users, saying there is a “risk of firearms being diverted to entities or activities that promote regional instability, violate human rights, or fuel criminal activities.”

Senator Lee now wants to overturn that policy with his Protecting American Gun Exporters Act and has the support of several GOP colleagues in the Senate, including John Thune of South Dakota, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Steve Daines of Montana, Mike Braun of Indiana, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Rick Scott of Florida.

Senator Lummis accused the Biden administration of yet more anti-gun tactics aimed at hamstringing the US firearms industry. “This administration has proved it will stop at nothing to erode the rights of people in Wyoming to keep and bear arms,” she said.

The legislation would strip Raimondo of the power to prevent exports and from “taking any substantially similar action” in the future.

GOP colleagues in the House of Representatives have also objected to the move, and Rep. Roger Williams wrote a letter to Commerce Undersecretary for Industry and Security Alan Estevez earlier in December, saying the Biden administration is relentlessly attacking American small business and making “entrepreneurs’ lives more difficult.” He added that the policy infringes on the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

Democrats raised the issue in September and asked the Commerce Department to overturn a Trump-era policy that eased exports and increased sales. Backed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrats wrote to the Department saying they had “grave concerns” about weapons exports placing guns into the hands of “corrupt actors around the world.”

In 2020, President Trump moved export licensing oversight from the State Department to the Department of Commerce and eased restrictions to boost American gunmakers.

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