Big Country News, Clarkston, Wash.

Idaho Senators Urge Commerce Secretary to Revoke New Firearms Export Licensing Rule

May 21, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) have led a coalition of senators urging Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to withdraw a Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) interim final rule. The rule in question severely restricts the issuance and limits the lifespan of export licenses for firearms, ammunition, and certain accessories to overseas markets.

In their letter, the senators expressed concern over several actions taken by the Department of Commerce over the past year. They cited an export pause on October 27, 2023, and a decision by the International Trade Administration to limit the promotion of firearms exports, alongside the new rule. According to the senators, these actions collectively represent an effort by the Biden administration to target the firearms industry without adequately considering the impact on U.S. commercial, economic, national security, and foreign policy interests.

“We are concerned that the Department issued the Rule in an attempt to intentionally harm the firearms industry,” the senators wrote. They emphasized the reliance of many businesses on the export of firearms, ammunition, and related components for their economic viability. The letter calls for the immediate withdrawal of the rule and its associated license revocations. Additionally, the senators have requested that BIS Undersecretary Alan Estevez and Assistant Secretary Thea Kendler testify before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

The letter was also signed by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), and Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.).