Foreign Affairs Committee Considers Rep. Green’s Resolution to Repeal Biden’s Arms Export Ban


Foreign Affairs Committee Considers Rep. Green’s Resolution to Repeal Biden’s Arms Export Ban 

WASHINGTON—Today in a House Committee on Foreign Affairs markup, Rep. Mark Green blasted President Biden’s disastrous rule to ban U.S. gun exports and munitions, which is crushing American businesses. The Committee was considering Rep. Green’s Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal this unconstitutional rule.

Watch Rep. Green’s Remarks

As Prepared for Delivery: On October 27th, 2023—without any warning, clarification, or justification—the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (or BIS) unilaterally paused the issuance and renewal of numerous export licenses for firearms, ammunition, and related materials. BIS officials assured this pause would only last approximately 90 days. That was a lie. 

American businesses were left completely in the dark for over 200 days, unable to fulfill contracts and forced to lay off employees. I grilled Undersecretary Alan Estevez about this irresponsible pause when he came before this Committee, and all he did was deflect and again give false testimony. BIS’ cavalier decision to put these business owners at risk of losing everything they’ve worked to build is disgraceful. 

Following the pause, BIS issued an interim final rule (or IFR) that is having devastating consequences for American firearms and ammunition manufacturers and exporters. Among other problematic provisions, this IFR makes gun export licenses only valid for one year instead of four. 

As a result of this rule, backlogs for licenses will skyrocket, forcing BIS to review 16,600 applications a year, more than double its current caseload. These 16,600 applications will now be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, leaving firearms exporters at the mercy of anti-gun bureaucrats. 

And let’s not forget BIS’ decision to revoke the licenses of businesses because they export to one of the now banned 36 countries. This punitive and predatory action against these law-abiding businesses shows just how far the Biden administration is willing to go to enact its anti-gun agenda. 

This new rule even targets hunters and competitive marksmen traveling overseas by restricting what firearms they can take and where they can travel. 

While BIS claims that these changes will not significantly impact the industry, a comprehensive economic analysis performed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that this IFR will cost the industry nearly $500 million per year—a devastating blow.  

BIS claims that this IFR is necessary to stop international gun crimes, but it has no evidence to back this claim up. In fact, a 2022 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concludes the opposite. According to the GAO, existing data on international gun crimes was insufficient to warrant any permanent changes. In fact, the GAO repeatedly notes that the firearms used in international gun crimes are overwhelmingly sourced through illegal markets working across porous borders and through theft. 

As the Biden Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has admitted, less than 1% of firearms lawfully exported from the U.S. were associated with an international gun crime. In other words, Biden is barking up the wrong tree. 

It is clear that as long as there is a booming black market for guns, restricting the legal sale of firearms won’t stop international gun crimes, but it will keep law-abiding citizens from being able to protect themselves against criminals. It will also cede control of this market to bad actors, including countries like Russia and China. And it will put Americans who are employed in this industry out of work. 

At every step in this process, BIS has left American exporters out to dry. As Adam Naylor, President of Outdoorsman Precision Manufacturing in Celina, TN said, “Our business was forced to close last month with over $1,000,000 in open orders that were either put on hold or completely canceled as our OEM customers' sales declined during the BIS Pause…” 

He went on to say that this pause and now IFR has resulted in “eight Jobs lost in a distressed community, $600,000 in hard cash investments, $1,000,000 of unsecured loans unable to be repaid, [and] $1,500,000 of capital equipment surrendered to the banks…” 

This is just one story out of thousands. 

The congressional mandate for the Department of Commerce is simple: “foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce, the mining, manufacturing, and fishery industries of the United States.” In other words, the Department must facilitate commerce, not hinder it. 

Not only is this IFR unnecessary, it is devastating to the industry and will only make international gun crimes worse. 

With over 90 cosponsors, my Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval would overturn this disastrous IFR and put American firearms exporters first. I strongly urge my colleagues on the Committee to vote in favor of this resolution, and I yield my time.  


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