The Woman’s National Democratic Club co-signed a letter to Representative James McGovern, Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, and Representative Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, in support of efforts to reinstate congressional notification of firearms exports. These weapons were recently moved to the Commerce Department-led Commerce Control List (CCL) and taken off the United States Munitions List (USML) administered by the State Department by way of a Trump administration rule. One of the most serious consequences of this rule change is that Congress no longer receives notification of pending firearms exports. Restoring that notification is a critical immediate step to address some of the concerns expressed last year by more than 100 organizations representing advocates from religious, gun violence prevention, human rights, education, arms control, peace, and domestic violence prevention organizations who opposed the implementation of this new rule.
“The congressional notification process worked as a critical safeguard to prevent American-made firearms from landing in the hands of human rights abusers, criminal cartels, and terrorists around the world and the need for this vital oversight remains. Small arms are the weapons of mass destruction in countries and regions such as Congo, Burma, Mexico, and Central America. AR- and AK-type rifles and their ammunition that are impacted by this regulation are the weapons of choice for criminal organizations in Mexico and other Central American countries, contributing to the humanitarian catastrophe that drives many migrants north as guns flow south.”