Aides to President Donald Trump are completing a plan to shift oversight of international non-military firearms sales from the State Department to the Commerce Department, four officials told Reuters.
While the State Department is primarily concerned about international threats to stability and maintains tight restrictions on weapons deals, the Commerce Department typically focuses more on facilitating trade.
The officials from multiple agencies, speaking on condition of anonymity, say the new rules will cut government red tape and regulatory costs, boosting U.S. exports of small arms and creating jobs at home.
“There will be more leeway to do arms sales,” one senior administration official said. “You could really turn the spigot on if you do it the right way.”
The push fits both Trump’s support for the gun lobby espoused on the campaign trail and his “Buy American” agenda.
But critics, including some lawmakers and arms control advocates, have expressed concern that any easing of export rules could make powerful weapons of the type often used in U.S.Read more at Reuters