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May 1, 2024

NSSF Throws Support Behind Sen. Bill Hagerty’s Effort to Block Abusive BIS Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, fully supports the effort led by U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) to block the Interim Final Rule published by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) that would throttle exports of U.S. firearms, ammunition and optics. Sen. Hagerty announced plans to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) Resolution of Disapproval to block the Interim Final Rule from taking effect. The CRA has 10 Senate co-sponsors and more are expected to support the effort to block the politically-motivated effort by the Biden administration to punish the firearm and ammunition industry.

“The Biden administration has shown their cards and there is not a sleight-of-hand they won’t play to advance their anti-gun agenda,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “President Joe Biden’s hostility against Second Amendment rights and our industry clearly shows no bounds and he’s used every governmental lever to crank up punishing restrictions that will have no bearing on improving national security or crime reduction. This administration is interested in one thing only – decimating the industry that provides the means for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights. NSSF commends Senator Bill Hagerty for leading the opposition to block this heavy-handed and naked political abuse of executive authority.”

The Interim Final Rule was the result of BIS re-examining firearm export licenses supposedly in light of national security concerns. That reasoning, however, rings hollow. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), only about 1 percent of legally exported firearms are recovered abroad at crime scenes and traced.

The BIS Interim Final Rule would make permanent export freezes sought by the Biden administration when it first announced on Oct. 27, 2023, a “90-day pause” to examine firearm export policy. The pause, which lasted over 180 days, was clearly an attempt to undermine the Export Control Reforms for firearm and ammunition exports that were initiated by the Obama-Biden administration and completed by the Trump administration. The total economic impact of the Interim Final Rule easily exceeds $250 million to U.S. manufacturers and exporters, far above the farcically low estimates BIS has been telling NSSF and the Hill. In addition, BIS will now require export licenses for sporting shotguns and optics to be exported to close allies when for over 30 years, these items could be exported to allied nations without an export license.

Under the Interim Final Rule, firearm export licenses will be reduced from a four-year lifespan to just one year. There will be four new Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCN) for semiautomatic rifles, pistols, shotguns and certain parts, components and accessories. Licenses will be approved on a case-by-case basis that will consider foreign policy, national security risk factors, government corruption, diversion of firearms and human rights abuses among other criteria. BIS is stating there will be a presumption of denial for firearm export licenses to those countries arbitrarily identified by the State Department as “at risk,” which includes 36 countries – mostly in Latin America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.

All existing previously approved firearm export licenses to so-called “high risk” countries will be revoked 60 days after the Interim Final Rule was published on April 30, 2024. Those U.S. companies with existing firearm export licenses may be required to re-apply for new licenses. The public comment period will remain open until July 1. NSSF is considering its legal options and will simultaneously submit written comments demonstrating the true economic impact and the harm to American businesses, jobs and local economies wrought by this politically-driven policy change.

The Interim Final Rule is open for public comment and NSSF urges all who are frustrated with the abusive Biden administration anti-gun agenda to comment here.


About NSSF
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has over 10,0000 members including manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit


NSSF Media contact:
Mark Oliva

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