WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Rand Paul, alongside Senator Ted Budd and 44 other senators, has raised serious questions about the Biden Administration’s recent suspension of firearms export licenses. This 90-day pause, announced by the Bureau of Industry and Security, affects most overseas markets, excluding Ukraine, Israel, and countries under the Wassenaar Arrangement.
The bipartisan group expressed deep concerns over the economic implications of this decision, estimating a direct cost of $89 million due to the pause and a potential annual loss of $238 million if the suspension becomes permanent. They argued that this move could severely impact the U.S. firearms industry and inadvertently bolster illicit arms markets by creating unmet demand.
Recently I joined several of my fellow Republican Senators to demand answers on the Biden administration’s latest attack on America’s firearms industry. https://t.co/lJ9LXrkxJy
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) November 22, 2023
In a letter addressed to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, the senators demanded a comprehensive explanation for the pause, citing the need for oversight and clarity on how this decision aligns with U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. They also questioned the potential consequences of halting firearms exports, including any effect on regional instability, human rights violations, or criminal activities.
“This decision, unprecedented in its scope, not only poses a risk to our national economic interests but also raises critical questions about our national security policies,” said Senator Paul. “It’s imperative that the Administration provide a clear rationale for this pause and its expected outcomes.”
Senator Budd added, “Our firearms industry plays a crucial role in our economy and defense capabilities. This suspension could have far-reaching effects beyond the intended scope.”
The letter underscored the senators’ commitment to safeguarding the Second Amendment rights and the economic well-being of the American firearms industry. They have requested a detailed response from Secretary Raimondo by November 30, 2023, emphasizing the urgency of the matter.
The Biden Administration has yet to respond publicly to the senators’ inquiries.