NSSF Praises Bipartisan Introduction of Export Control Reform Act in House; Companion Bill in Senate
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries, praised the bipartisan introduction of the Export Control Reform Act of 2016 in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 6176, as well as the companion Senate bill, S. 3405, and called on Congress to pass this sensible pro-business and trade-enhancing legislation.
“The Export Control Reform Act of 2016 seeks to complete what the Obama administration itself began by transferring the export licensing and enforcement oversight of sporting and commercial firearms to the Commerce Department from the State Department,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We would especially like to thank the sponsors: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.); Congressmen Henry Cuellar (D-Texas); Tom Marino (R-Penn.); Gene Green (D-Texas); and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) for their timely bipartisan leadership as well as Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) for sponsoring a companion bill in the Senate.”
In August 2009, with the support of the business community including NSS, the Obama administration launched the Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative. The Initiative’s purpose is to both improve America’s global competitiveness by reducing unnecessary restrictions on exports of commercial items and enhance national security by focusing the State Department’s attention and resources on guarding truly sensitive defense items and technologies. As former Defense Secretary Robert Gates once said, the ECR Initiative’s purpose is “to build a higher fence around a smaller yard.”
The administration has transferred, or is in the process of transferring, to Commerce from State, export licensing responsibility for virtually all commercial, non-military items. The only remaining items yet to be transferred are sporting and commercial firearms and related products. While we have patiently waited for the administration to make ECR progress on our products, small manufacturers, component parts suppliers, distributors, and exporters in our industry, and even gunsmiths and individuals, have to continue to comply with unnecessary regulations and to pay an annual minimum registration fee of $2,250, regardless of whether they actually export. Under the State Department’s Cold-war era export licensing regime, American companies are unable to compete globally on a level playing field.
“Because the administration has not moved forward in a timely manner to complete its own ECR Initiative, it is now time for Congress to move forward with legislation complete the ECR and reduce unneeded and burdensome regulations while improving our global competitiveness, create American jobs and enhance national security,” Keane said.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 13,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.