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Torres, Engel Measure to Block Trump Administration Proposal to Deregulate Firearm Exports Passes on House Floor

July 16, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Norma J. Torres (D-CA) and Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced that a measure based on their Prevent Crime and Terrorism Act has passed the House as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA), and now moves to the U.S. Senate for further consideration. The measure blocks the Trump Administration’s proposal to transfer firearm export regulation from the U.S. State Department to the U.S. Commerce Department. Experts have noted that the new regulations would weaken congressional oversight of firearms exports, and would allow licenses to be approved with less scrutiny. The amendment was supported by endorsed by Giffords, Everytown for Gun Safety, Violence Policy Center, Amnesty International USA, and Global Exchange.


“Whatever our views on firearms policy, we should all be able to agree that putting more firearms in the wrong hands would make the world a more dangerous place. Our provision stops the Trump Administration’s dangerous plan to take licensing authority for firearms exports from the State Department and Commerce Department from going forward,” said Torres. “This doesn’t prevent or create any new restrictions on arms exports. It simply protects congressional oversight, protects national security, and keeps deadly weapons from falling into the hands of drug cartels and terrorists. I urge its swift passage in the Senate.”


“We must do everything we can to prevent the Trump Administration from making it easier for firearms—including grenades, flamethrowers and 3-D printed guns—to proliferate around the world. This is not about the Second Amendment which applies in the United States–-it’s about loosening controls on exports of dangerous weapons. I’m proud to join with Representative Torres and I thank her for her leadership on this critical issue,” said Chairman Engel. 


The measure would prohibit the President from removing any items from Categories 1-3 of the United States Munitions List, ensuring continued oversight over such sales. 


For broadcast-quality video of Torres’ remarks about the measure on the House floor, click here.