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Brady Condemns Trump Administration for Loosening Restrictions on Arms Exports

Washington, D.C., January 23, 2020 — Brady condemns the Trump administration’s new guidelines governing the export of arms to other countries that will transfer this authority from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce by moving arms from the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the Commerce Control List (CCL), where licensing requirements and oversight are less stringent. The administration has moved forward with this change despite a hold placed on the change by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

Brady President Kris Brown stated:

“We condemn this move in the strongest possible terms. This is a naked show of support for the gun industry and yet another action taken by this administration in lockstep with one of their largest funders. It is another example of moneyed interests being put above the interests of U.S. voters and practical oversight between the branches of government. The gun industry spent over $50 million putting President Trump into office and their investment is being rewarded yet again at the expense of human lives.”

The rules change coincided with SHOT Show, the annual firearms manufacturer trade convention taking place this week, which featured a “Export Training Session” to teach industry actors how to navigate the new rules, which will go into effect in 45 days.

This action, shifting control of these exports from USML to CCL removes Congressional oversight from much of the small arms export process, including military-style assault rifles. Items on the USML are subject to Congressional review for sales that exceed $1 million; no such requirement exists for items on the CCL. Congress has twice in recent years used their oversight authority to stop the sale of arms when legitimate questions arise, such as the sale of 26,000 assault rifles to the Philippines Police over human rights concerns with the Duterte regime, and a $1.2 million sale of arms to Turkey after President Erdogan’s bodyguards attacked protestors in Washington, D.C. This is the very oversight being denied Congress by the administration’s rule change.

Kris Brown concluded:

“From installing extremist judges to the federal bench, to pulling the U.S. out of the UN arms treaty, to opposing universal background checks that are favored by over 90 percent of the American public, this administration has time and again made it clear that it has only one priority when it comes to firearms, making sure that the gun industry boosts its profits with no regard for human life.”

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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 common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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