Daines and Bipartisan Bicameral Coalition Introduce Bill to Protect Law-Abiding Gun Owners

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today introduced the Export Control Reform Act of 2016, which transfers regulatory responsibility for non-military-grade firearms from the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

“The Obama administration is continually making attempts at restricting the rights of law-abiding Americans to own guns,” Daines stated. “Their latest heavy-handed policy unduly targets gunsmiths, most of whom make little to no income and simply do it for the love of the trade, or are small business owners who will be negatively impacted by this burdensome cost. This bill protects both our Second Amendment rights and our small businesses from government overreach.”  

The Export Control Reform Act of 2016 moves export licensing control, oversight and enforcement for commercial and sporting (non-military) firearms and related items from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce.  Commerce already licenses the export of shotguns and shot shells. The Export Control Reform Act simply completes the Administration’s export control reform (ECR) initiative’s review of the three categories of articles currently controlled by the State Department for export licensing (U.S. Munitions List Categories I – III) that the administration has yet to address as part of its overall ECR initiative. 

Gary Marbut, President Montana Shooting Sports Association: “Montana gun owners are ever so pleased that Senator Daines is taking action to fix this problem, a problem that threatens to put Montana gunsmiths out of business and seriously dampen the Right to Keep and Bear Arms that the people have reserved to themselves from government interference in the U.S. and Montana constitutions.”

Chris Bonner, Accu-Arms, Missoula, Montana: “The State Department’s change of regulation could make it much more difficult for me to stay in business.  As a federally licensed dealer, I have enough regulations to comply with.  Having this regulatory stuff transferred to the Department of Commerce will eliminate one more burden that hampers my business and every other small business owner that deals with firearms.”  

The companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) with U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mt.), U.S. Representative Tom Marino (R-Pa.); U.S. Representative Steve Stivers (R-Oh.); U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D-Tx.); and U.S. Representative Gene Green (D-Tx.).