Washington, D.C., February 8, 2019 - With a rule pending that would transfer oversight of American gunmakers selling deadly weapons - including military-style assault weapons - internationally from the State Department to the Commerce Department, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence sharply criticized the Trump Administration for needlessly endangering lives on a global scale. The organization called for Congress to pass new legislation blocking the rule at once.
Kris Brown, president of the Brady Campaign, stated,
“We’ve long maintained that gun violence is a uniquely American problem, but expanding it to a global issue is a massive step in the wrong direction. This is a shortsighted and reckless decision, one that will directly result in putting deadly weapons in the most dangerous of hands. While the corporate gun lobby is no doubt thrilled to be able to take their products to a wider audience, we need to be taking steps to reduce gun violence at home, rather than exporting it abroad.”
The Brady Campaign endorsed the Prevent Crime and Terrorism Act introduced by Reps. Norma Torres (D-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), which would block the Administration’s proposal. The legislation would prohibit the Administration from removing any items from the United States Munitions List, ensuring that the State Department will maintain oversight rather than the proposal to shift regulations to the Commerce Department. Without careful scrutiny over firearms exports of this nature, dangerous weapons could easily be obtained by dictators with a history of human rights abuses, terrorists, and other criminal enterprises.
Brady submitted public comments on the proposed rule in July 2018, urging against the decision. The comments read, in part:
We respectfully submit that the proposed transfer of semi-automatic and firearms used by the military (and related items) from the stringent control of the USML to the more permissive regime administered by the Commerce Department would be contrary to Congressional intent and would undermine U.S. national security interests, international stability and the protection of human rights. We respectfully request that the State and Commerce Departments withdraw their current rules, and keep these dangerous items (and related items) subject to State Department jurisdiction on USML, consistent with well-settled and established practice.
The full comments can be found here: http://www.bradycampaign.org/sites/default/files/DDTC-and-BIS-BradyFinalComments_7.9.18.pdf
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in the common sense. In the spirit of our founders Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 25 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.