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International News: U.S. halts export of most civilian firearms and ammunition for 90 days

Posted: Monday, October 30, 2023. 12:45 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The United States Department of Commerce said on Friday it would stop issuing export licenses for most civilian firearms and ammunition for 90 days for all non-governmental users, citing national security and foreign policy interests, The Guardian (UK) reports citing Reuters.

The Department said it would conduct an urgent review to assess “the risk of firearms being diverted to entities or activities that promote regional instability, violate human rights, or fuel criminal activities,” but otherwise offered no elaboration or further comment.

Washington D.C. attorney Johanna Reeves said she had not seen the Department take such sweeping action, including most of the guns and ammunition that could be purchased in a US gun store.

Export licenses for Ukraine and Israel, as well as some other close allies, will be exempted from the temporary halt in exports. The pause does not affect previously issued export licenses, the Commerce Department said. For shipments to government clients, exporters must name specific end users, while applications with unnamed government, military, and police users will be “returned without action”.

U.S. companies that sell firearms, including Sturm Ruger & Co;, Smith & Wesson Brands and Vista Outdoor could be impacted by the export ban. Overseas customers include distributors and stores that sell firearms.

Exporters can continue to submit license requests during the pause, but they will be “held without action” until the pause is lifted.


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