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Congressman demands Commerce Department hand over firearm export records in latest government oversight move.

US Lawmaker Subpoenas Commerce Department Over Firearms Export Documents

Commerce Department Subpoenaed Over Firearms Export License Decision

A senior U.S. House Republican lawmaker has issued a subpoena to the Commerce Department over records related to the agency’s decision to temporarily halt issuing export licenses for most civilian firearms and ammunition. The pause was implemented to assess the risk of firearms being diverted to entities or activities that promote regional instability, violate human rights, or fuel criminal activities.

Commerce Department’s Response to Subpoena

The Commerce Department has been uncooperative in providing the documents sought by the House of Representatives Oversight and Accountability Committee. The agency has stated its commitment to cooperating with the inquiry, but the committee has threatened a subpoena if the documents are not turned over.

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Documents Sought and Allegations of Politicization

The subpoena seeks to force the Commerce Department to hand over all documents and communications with the White House regarding the export pause. Representative James Comer has alleged possible politicization of Commerce’s activities to further build out American industry’s access to global markets.

Concerns Raised by Republican Senators

In November, 46 Republican senators, including Mitch McConnell and John Thune, expressed significant concerns about the pause, citing potential risks to U.S. commercial and economic interests, national security, and foreign policy. The export halt covers most guns and ammunition that could be purchased in a U.S. gun store, with some exemptions for certain allies.

Impact of Export Halt on Gun Sales

The export halt covers most of the guns and ammunition that could be purchased in a U.S. gun store. Overseas customers include distributors and stores that sell firearms. The Republican Party has consistently defended gun ownership rights for Americans under the U.S. Constitution, while many Democrats have urged new gun restrictions to address the rising number of mass shootings.

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