Gun Control Advocates Slam Trump's "Reckless" Decision to Loosen Firearm Exports Regulations

Gun control advocates slammed the Trump administration Thursday for siding with gun manufacturers and lobbyists after the White House slashed the oversight process for exporting weapons overseas.

In a new rule entered into the Federal Register on Thursday, the administration shifted oversight of many arms exports from the U.S. State Department to the Department of Commerce, a move expected to boost sales of ammunition and weapons including sniper rifles, AR-15s, and other semi-automatic firearms.

Gun manufacturers have lobbied for the shift, which will lower the industry’s costs.

The gun control group Giffords Law Center denounced the new rule, which is set to take effect in March, on social media.

“Once again, the Trump administration chose gun industry profits over public safety,” said Adzi Vokhiwa, the group’s federal affairs manager. “Since this ill-conceived proposal was first announced nearly two years ago, human rights, arms control, and gun safety organizations repeatedly made it clear that oversight of firearms exports should remain with the State Department, which has the expertise to ensure that weapons do not fall into the wrong hands. The sale of firearms—domestically and abroad—deserves the highest level of scrutiny, and this regulation fails to offer much scrutiny at all.”