Trump to ease rules on gun exports: report

Trump to ease rules on gun exports: report
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The Trump administration is reportedly planning to ease rules on American manufacturers selling small guns and assault rifles to buyers overseas.

An administration official confirmed to The Hill that the State Department is working to move the U.S. government’s authorization of exports of already commercially available, nonmilitary firearms and ammunition to the Commerce Department’s jurisdiction, and keeping exports of military grade items under State Department jurisdiction. 

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Administration officials told Reuters that the proposed rule change, headed to the White House budget office in the coming days, would cut regulatory red tape, boost U.S. gun exports and create jobs.

Democratic Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinTop Dem: Lawmakers taking 'more active role' in Trump foreign policy Questions loom over Franken ethics probe State Dept. spokeswoman acknowledges 'morale issue' MORE (Md.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFive things to know about the elephant trophies controversy The feds need to be held accountable for role in Russia scandal Lawyer: Kushner is 'the hero' in campaign emails regarding Russia MORE (Calif.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyLawmakers, celebs honor Tony Bennett with Library of Congress Gershwin Prize Dem senator jokes: 'Moment of weakness' led me to share photo comparing Trump, Obama Leahy presses Trump court nominee over LGBTQ tweets MORE (Vt.) sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Hill's 12:30 Report Trump will declare North Korea a state sponsor of terror Tillerson condemns violence against LGBT people on Transgender Day of Remembrance MORE on Friday asking him not to make changes to International Trafficking in Arms regulations for small arms, light weapons and associated equipment and ammunition without carefully considering the consequences.

"As you are aware, combat firearms and ammunition are uniquely lethal; they are easily spread and easily modified, and are the primary means of injury, death and destruction in civil and military conflicts around the world," the senators wrote. "As such, they should be subject to more - not less - rigorous export controls and oversight."

The Department of Commerce directed questions to the White House. In an email, a White House official said "the administration is working through the interagency process with the State Department and the Department of Commerce to ensure that U.S. industries have every advantage in the global marketplace, while at the same time ensuring the responsible export of arms." 

Updated: 6:35 p.m.