Lee, Scott File Bill to Counter Biden Ban on Gun Exports

Lee, Scott File Bill to Counter Biden Ban on Gun Exports

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
December 19, 2023

Senators Rick Scott (R-Fl) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have filed the Protect American Gun Exporter Act to nullify President Joe Biden’s recent ban on gun exports. 

Last October 27, 2023, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced a 90-day ban on the export of firearms, ammunition, and component parts. 

The BIS explained it would not be issuing new export licenses to those seeking to export certain firearms and related articles to non-governmental entities except for those in Ukraine and Israel. 

Non-governmental entities in state parties to the Wassenaar Arrangement are also exempt.

During the 90-day ban, the BIS claims it will be reviewing firearm export control policies to asses whether they are serving US national security and foreign policy interests. 

Specifically, the BIS stated it is interested in preventing the export of firearms to states that incite “regional instability, violate human rights, or fuel criminal activities.”

However, conservative lawmakers have defined the pause in export license issuances as arbitrary and out of sync with industry leaders. 

According to Senator Lee’s team, the BIS pause on export licenses is an unprecedented move of questionable legality taken without prior consultation with industry stakeholders. 

The 90-day BIS pause could cost the industry upwards of $1 million per day, according to Lee. 

“The arbitrary halt of firearm export licenses by the Biden administration lacks both justification and necessity," said Lee via press release.

Senator Scott called the BIS policy a slight on Second Amendment rights and an unjustified punishment on gun manufacturers and exporters. 

Scott accused the Biden administration of executing an “assault on the Second Amendment and prefer(ing) to put politics above the Constitution.” 

"That’s unacceptable, and we’re here to send a message that this will not stand,” said Scott. 

The Council of Foreign relations has estimated the US accounts for over 40% of worldwide arms exports and 2020 sales from leading U.S. producers reached $285 billion.

With sundry states relying on the US to arm themselves, pauses such as the one announced by the BIS are often used as bargaining chips to advance US foreign policy interests.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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