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Trump administration eases export rules for US gun manufacturers: report
The Trump administration is reportedly lifting regulations that require U.S. arms manufacturers to have a State Department license to sell certain types of weapons overseas.
NBC News reported Thursday that weapons-makers will instead require a license from the Commerce Department to be able to sell semi-automatic weapons, flamethrowers and certain types of grenades. The Commerce licenses do not come with a fee and involve a less complex process to obtain, making it easier for manufacturers to export their products.
The State Department sent a final version of the new rules to Congress on Monday, NBC reported. The change will go into effect within the next month unless lawmakers pass a resolution to block them.
A State Department official told The Hill that weapons that serve a military function will remain under control of the State Department licensing process. The official said the new rules do not affect American citizens' ability to own or possess firearms.
An agency official told NBC that all firearm exports will still be monitored by the U.S. government, just under the auspices of the Commerce Department.
However, advocates for stricter gun laws expressed concerns to NBC that the new rules would lead to the proliferation of weapons around the world.
As the Trump administration continues to push for government deregulation, Democrats have used their new House majority to focus on gun violence, among other issues.
Democratic lawmakers have pushed for universal background checks and other measures to curb gun violence. The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held a hearing dedicated to the issue.