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Trump Administration Proposes Substantial Improvements to the Firearm Export Process

The Trump Administration recently published regulations (which had been drafted by the Obama Administration, but never published), that would transfer jurisdiction over the export of most firearms from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce.  The proposed regulations, if enacted, will greatly benefit the firearms industry, which has been lobbying for these changes for several years.  Here is what you need to know:

  • The overwhelming majority of firearms manufacturers will no longer have to register as manufacturers of defense articles and pay the annual registration fee of at least $2,250 required by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
  • The overwhelming majority of firearms manufacturers will no longer have to register as manufacturers of defense articles and pay the annual registration fee of at least $2,250 required by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
  • Manufacturers will only have to interact with one agency to obtain export approvals, which significantly streamlines the number of hurdles to clear.
  • There is generally less red tape involved in obtaining approvals from the Department of Commerce and, in fact, the Department of Commerce has historically approved the export of more products than the Department of State. This is because the Department of State only approves the export of defense articles that generally have military application.
  • The export of firearms and ammunition will still require a permit from the federal government, and they can only be sold to countries who approve of the specific firearms and ammunition being exported, whether for use by governmental entities, or sale to the commercial market.

 

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