The Trump management has passed a pivotal breakthrough in a long-delayed rule change that would make it easier to market U.S. firearms outside the U.S., together with assault rifles and ammunition, said sources briefed on the matter.
The proposed rule modifications, which might transfer oversight of business firearm exports from the U.S. Division of State to the Department of Commerce, could be enacted as quickly as the end of the year, the sources mentioned late Wednesday.
The step by President Donald Trump’s management could do business for gun manufacturers such as American Outdoor Brands and Sturm Ruger & Company while growing the sale of lethal weapons abroad. A calming of guidelines could enhance international gun sales by up to 20%, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has estimated.
While the State Division is primarily concerned with worldwide threats to stability and maintains tight constraints on weapons deals, the Commerce Division typically focuses on making it more straightforward for U.S. firms to sell merchandise overseas.
Since assuming office, Trump has been a much more outspoken booster of U.S. weapons sales overseas than his recent predecessors, performing nearly as a salesman for the U.S. defense business, analysts have stated. Any move that might boost arms sales is also likely to earn enthusiastic backing from the influential National Rifle Association as Trump’s re-election campaign heats up.
Critics, along with some legislators and arms management advocates, have expressed concern that any easing of export guidelines might make powerful weapons of the sort often utilized in U.S. mass shootings more accessible to criminal groups and militant groups that Trump has pledged to fight.