Bob Menéndez Blocks Admin from Changing Firearm Export Regulations
The Trump administration wants to transfer firearm export regulation from the State Department to the Commerce Department, even though many experts have said the new regulations would weaken congressional oversight of firearms exports and would allow licenses to be approved with less scrutiny. Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), Ranking Member on the Foreign Relations Committee, blocked the move last week. “[Firearms] are easily modified, diverted, and proliferated, and are the primary means of injury, death, and destruction in civil and military conflicts throughout the world. As such, they should be subject to more, not less, rigorous export controls and oversight,” Menéndez wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “By proceeding with the transfer of firearms, including 3D printing technical information, to Commerce, the Administration is acting recklessly and endangering innocent lives. It should go without saying that we collectively need to understand the threat and have a plan to address this issue before making the regulatory change.” However, there are concerns that Donald Trump will disregard Menéndez's hold -- it’s not legally binding but is, instead, based on decades of bipartisan tradition. We told you that Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA) introduced a bill last month to block the administration from being able to do this and prohibit the president from removing any items from the United States Munitions List, ensuring continued State Department oversight. We’ll keep you posted. More here.