Scalise, Daines and Bipartisan Bicameral Coalition Introduce the Export Control Reform Act

September 28, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) today with U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.), U.S. Representative Tom Marino (R-Pa.); U.S. Representative Steve Stivers (R-Ohio); U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D-Texas); and U.S. Representative Gene Green (D-Texas) introduced the Export Control Reform Act of 2016, which transfers regulatory responsibility for non-military-grade firearms from the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“The State Department’s July guidance takes a hostile stance toward gun owners and the Second Amendment,” Whip Steve Scalise said. “The federal government shouldn’t be treating local gunsmiths like they are international arms dealers. It’s as ludicrous as saying your neighborhood car mechanic is an automobile manufacturer — it just doesn’t add up. Our common-sense, bipartisan bill simply transfers regulatory responsibility for non-military-grade firearms from the Department of State to the Commerce Department–where it belongs–so that it can be regulated like any other commercial business. This is yet another important step in protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.” 

"The Obama administration is continually making attempts at restricting the rights of law-abiding Americans to own guns,” Senator Steve Daines stated. “This unduly targets gunsmiths, most of whom make little to no income and simply do it for the love of the trade, or are small business owners who will be negatively impacted by this burdensome cost. This bill protects both our Second Amendment rights and our small businesses from government overreach."

“The current restrictions coming from the Department of State harm the ability of American businesses to operate competitively,” Rep. Steve Stivers said. “This is just another example of overregulation discouraging job creation – something that is all too familiar in our country. I am proud to stand with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise as a cosponsor of this important legislation.”

“Under current regulations, gunsmiths who do not manufacture or export products are required to register with the State Department and pay an annual fee of $2,250,” commented Rep. Tom Marino. “This unreasonably high cost is crushing small businesses and hobbyists not only in my district, but all across the United States. Furthermore, the State Department should have no regulatory authority over munitions used purely for sport or hunting. The Export Control Reform Act is a commonsense solution to overreaching regulations hindering American manufacturers and exporters. This legislation ensures hardworking Americans will have the opportunity to be competitive on a global scale by removing excessive rules and costly fees.”

“Simplifying government regulations on business is important to maintain industry competitiveness,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar. “The Administration’s export control reform initiative has been a positive step in simplifying and streamlining the U.S. export system for key U.S. manufacturing and technology sectors. I’m pleased to co-sponsor this bill which will insure completion of that reform which began in 2009.”

“I applaud the Obama Administration for its Export Control Reform Initiative which has cut red tape and benefited many manufacturers in Houston and Harris County, and throughout the country," Rep. Gene Green said. "These reforms will properly treat sporting and commercial firearms made for civilian use just as any other commercial business, thereby putting our domestic gun makers on an even playing field against Russian and Chinese arms manufacturers. Congress should act to protect these manufacturing jobs in Texas and ensure that all American-made, civilian-use exports are treated fairly and given equal opportunity to compete overseas.”

“On behalf of our 5 million members, the NRA would like to thank Congressman Steve Scalise for introducing H.R. 6176, the Export Control Reform Act of 2016," said Chris Cox, Executive Director NRA-ILA. "This bill would effectively rescind the State Department’s reckless “guidance” that seeks to treat law-abiding gun owners and gunsmiths as if they were international commercial firearms exporters. This bill would also remove gunsmiths altogether from State Department’s control so they are not wrongly caught up in bureaucratic red tape and required to pay exorbitant annual fees meant for commercial exporters. Congressman Scalise’s leadership is greatly appreciated and we look forward to continuing to work with him on this important issue.”

“The Export Control Reform Act of 2016, introduced in the House on a bipartisan basis today, thanks in large measure to the leadership of Congressman Steve Scalise, seeks to complete what the Obama administration itself began to effectuate the transfer of regulatory oversight from State to the Commerce Department of sporting and commercial firearms that have no military application,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). “Because the administration has not moved forward and gunsmiths are now being affected by the State Department’s recent guidance, it is time for the Congress to move forward with legislation to reduce unneeded and burdensome regulation while improving our global competitiveness, enhancing job creation and protecting our national security.”     


The Export Control Reform Act of 2016 moves export licensing control, oversight and enforcement for commercial and sporting (non-military) firearms and related items from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce.  Commerce already licenses the export of shotguns and shot shells. The Export Control Reform Act simply completes the Administration’s export control reform (ECR) initiative’s review of the three categories of articles currently controlled by the State Department for export licensing (U.S. Munitions List Categories I - III) that  the administration has yet to address as part of its overall ECR initiative.

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