Win Without War

Tell President Biden: Restore State Department authority over firearms exports

Sadly, the same U.S.-made weapons that kill people in our communities, kill people around the world. Guns manufactured here are finding their way into the hands of some of the worst human rights abusers and criminal gangs in the world. 

In 2020, the Trump administration moved oversight of small arms sales from the State Department to the U.S. Department of Commerce. What this means is that weapons like semi-automatic rifles and pistols can now be exported overseas with fewer checks to make sure they don’t go to regimes that abuse human rights or fall into the hands of drug cartels and terrorist groups. 

Since Trump’s rule change, foreign sales of semi-automatic pistols have more than doubled — all in countries with staggering rates of human rights abuses and gang violence. But one small rule change could help us identify and mitigate this violence.

Today, I am not asking you to act to support a sweeping vision, or to solve the problem of gun violence altogether. Rather, I am simply asking you to call for one key regulatory change that will help protect communities around the world from human rights abuses and crime. 

Sign now and tell President Biden to restore State Department regulatory authority over exports of firearms and other munitions immediately.

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President Biden:

While small arms like assault weapons and automatic pistols may seem less dangerous than major weapons systems, the reality is that many of the world's worst human rights abuses are committed using these weapons. 

In 2020, Donald Trump moved the approval of foreign small arms sales from the State Department to the Department of Commerce. This not only relaxed standards on certain types of arms sales but also removed an important oversight duty rightfully held by the U.S. Congress. 

I urge you to reclassify these weapons and add them back to the U.S. Munitions List, as you promised on the campaign trail, so they can be regulated as the serious weapons they are.

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