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Biden Admin Firearms Export Pause Puts Allies in Danger, Hurts American Business


A customer listens to an employee’s explanation as he selects handgun at a gun store in Jerusalem, Israel on October 26, 2023. In Israel, which has been attacked by Hamas, the number of civilian buying guns for self-defense is rapidly increasing.( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )

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The Biden administration continues to bludgeon the highly regulated and constitutionally protected firearm industry through any means available. The president kicked off his campaign for the presidency in 2019 by calling lawful firearm manufacturers “the enemy” and he’s still carrying out his plans to decimate the firearm industry no matter what. Even if it means ignoring Congress and doing so through executive edict.

At home in America, President Joe Biden’s “zero-tolerance” policy is being used like a fire blanket to suffocate neighborhood gun stores and industry businesses at a blistering pace, yet apparently regulatory compliance is ignored when applied to the administration’s ATF.

Now, one of the president’s latest gun control charades is making it difficult for one of America’s closest allies to defend itself from terrorists. It’s the latest signal that President Joe Biden and The White House are more interested in placating gun control activists who always want him to “do more,” over the livelihoods of law-abiding Americans and their highly regulated businesses.

Arming Up for Self-Defense

More than 1,400 innocent Israeli men, women and children were murdered as a result of the heinous October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. As a result, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir went into overdrive to revamp the country’s previously strict gun control laws to ensure further attacks would be deterred.

Before then, only about two percent of Israel’s population possessed firearms, compared to at least 30 percent in America, and Ben-Gvir moved quickly to ease restrictions and speed up the permitting process. He also ordered the National Security Committee to buy 10,000 rifles to arm civilian security teams, specifically in border towns as well as communities with mixed Jewish-Arab populations and West Bank settlements. More arms were going to be needed if the civilian population was going to strengthen its ability to defend itself.

“We will turn the world upside down so that towns are protected. I have given instructions for massively arming the civilian security teams,” Ben-Gvir said.

However, as more and more Israelis continue taking up arms to defend their homes and communities and while still facing Hamas attacks, Israelis are finding the process of securing arms increasingly difficult. Unsurprisingly, it’s the Biden administration that is making it more difficult.

Delay and Deny

The Biden administration’s announced Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) 90-day “pause” on firearm exports to certain countries was made with little forewarning, no input from industry and with practically no consideration for how it would impact the nearly 400,000 Americans who work in the firearm industry. The frustration was felt immediately last year once the decision was quietly announced and has only mounted since.

“Firearm manufacturers have told me they were given no warning. Also, why were the firearms industry – why were they singled out in this issue?” Rep. Burchett asked Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration within BIS Thea Rozman Kendler at a congressional hearing in December 2023. “These people are in business, ma’am. And if you cut them off… governments can just print more money. These people can’t,” Congressman Burchett said.

Assistant Secretary Kendler admitted the pause is, in fact, having a negative impact on commerce.

“NATO license applications are still being processed. That’s about, frankly, 75 percent by value of our license applications that we continue to process,” she said.

Unwittingly Kendler admitted there was a change in policy that has reduced – by at least 25 percent – the number of commercial firearm export licenses by American firearm industry members. That’s a tremendous dent in the livelihoods of Americans making a living in the firearm industry. Multiple Members of Congress and U.S. Senators have made it clear to the Biden administration: Stop the charade with firearm exports.

After initially being announced as a “90-day pause,” the BIS delay is ongoing. And coupled with other threats coming from the Biden administration, which blocked shipments of critical arms to Israel and has threatened to block even more, it’s not hard to understand why Israel was forced to take a new path.

Going On Their Own

Traditionally, U.S.-made arms made up the largest percentage of arms imported by the State of Israel. But in an announcement, the Israeli Defense Ministry said it could no longer rely on other countries for arms and ammunition imports – ostensibly the United States – and will begin purchasing large quantities of locally-produced arms and ammunition.

“The ministry had ordered around 2,800 Tavor rifles before the outbreak of the war and intends to continue acquiring American-made firearms in the coming months due to an immediate shortage of firearms needed for the upcoming enlistments,” media reported. “The current shortage of firearms and the following tender are related to the security establishment’s intention to increase the number of Israel’s combat soldiers. The move aligns with a broader policy seeking to reduce Israeli dependence on imported weapons and ammunition.”

Leaving America’s closest ally in the Middle East in a precarious situation exactly when the assistance is most critical is a decision the Biden administration came to easily. U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) warned of the impacts the BIS delay would add to international situations involving our allies.

“And furthermore, just in a broader issue, we are not selling U.S. arms in a vacuum. If we care about human rights… We want them buying from the United States where we do have appropriate oversight,” Rep. Waltz, a former combat decorated U.S. Army Green Beret and National Guard Colonel (Ret.), said in a recent Congressional hearing.

Rep. Waltz knows about warfare, human rights and the ability to remain prepared for dire circumstances. The White House should heed his warning but signs seem to suggest they have turned a blind eye. The immediate difficulty Israel faces in being forced to ramp its own firearm manufacturing is similar to the reasons why the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Missouri should remain fully operational, despite The White House entertaining gun control activist demands to greatly reduce its ability to manufacture large quantities of ammunition for U.S. military needs.

The Biden administration continues to play games with the firearm industry and its ability to supply our allies with U.S.-made arms and ammunition. Regardless of what gun control activists claim, or the administration’s purported goal of ensuring U.S. firearm exports don’t contribute to “gun violence issues that lead to regional instability,” the BIS delay is severely impacting hundreds of thousands of Americans here on our soil and the safety and security of our allies abroad.

—Matt Manda, courtesy NSSF

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