An Iraqi police commando displays more than 20 assault rifles as well as maps and cordless phones smuggled across the border (NAWFAL HASHEM/AFP/Getty Images)
We’re terrified of foreign terrorists, but we’re OK with them being better armed! – Comment today thru Monday July 9th, 2018, at 11:59 PM ET
From Moms Rising: The NRA and gun manufacturers want guns everywhere, for everyone, not just here in the United States, but around the world! They are pushing hard for a rule change that would move the handling of export licenses of semiautomatic assault weapons, flame throwers and other powerful weapons from the U.S. State Department (focused on safeguarding our nation) to the U.S. Commerce Department (focused on promoting American business). This transfer of authority would open new floodgates for arms sales internationally, with serious implications for our national security.
Today, there are only 1,733 comments and A LOT are from NRA supporters! Get involved! Share this in your social media!
Action: Submit comments now to the State Department and the Commerce Department opposing this rule change:
- Read the proposed rule here.
- Write a comment here.
- View other comments here for inspiration.
- Write your own and get your friends to write in too.
Example comment: “I oppose moving export license oversight for firearms from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce because the proposed rule change treats semiautomatic assault rifles as non-military. Firearms are used to kill a thousand people every day around the world in acts of organized crime, political violence, terrorism, and human rights violations. They should be subject to more controls, not fewer.
Example comment: Gun Manufacturers make enough money without changing who oversees them. Making it easier for them to sell guns anywhere, with rules that are pretty much non-existent is ridiculous. Don’t do it.
Example comment: I do not think that we should make it easier to export firearms from the United States. We do not need to provide more weapons to people oversees, who then have the potential to hurt us or our allies with them. Please leave the current rules in place, whereby firearm exports need to go through the State Department.
Example comment: This proposed rule has one purpose and one purpose only: to garner profits for a U.S. gun industry that is faring poorly domestically. It comes after a multi-year lobbying campaign by the NRA and National Shooting Sports Foundation (the NSSF has already boasted the change would lead to a 20% increase in firearms exports). NO ONE other than the gun lobby asked for this change. It would make U.S. exports of small arms far more dangerous, by transferring oversight responsibilities to an agency that prioritizes business over national security. The U.S. Congress would also lose its ability to oversee commercial weapons sales of $1 million or more, which is inane.
Example comment: I am writing in strong opposition to moving export license oversight for firearms from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce. The proposed rule change treats semiautomatic assault rifles as non-military. This is despite the fact that U.S. troops routinely use their military rifles in semiautomatic mode, these weapons are used by state and non-state groups in armed conflicts, and the civilian possession of such weapons is prohibited in many countries.
The proposed rule also: eliminates Congressional oversight for important gun export deals; transfers the cost of processing licenses from gun manufacturers to taxpayers; and, enables unchecked gun production in the U.S. and exports abroad by removing the block on 3D printing of firearms. The proposal reduces transparency and reporting on gun exports and transfers gun export licensing from an agency with a mission to promote stability, conflict reduction, and human rights, to an agency with a mission to promote trade and which lacks the resources to adequately enforce export controls. This change defies sound reasoning, Aristotelian logic, and common sense to place the baseness of greed above global public safety.
Firearms are used to kill thousands of people every day around the world in acts of organized crime, street crime, political violence, terrorism, and myriad human rights violations. They should be subject to more controls, not fewer. Humanity deserves to be free from the threats posed by deranged, greedy, corrupt individuals like those responsible for proposing this absurd change.
Example comment: I believe this rule change is not in the best interest of the country or world. While the rule change seems to want to put certain weapons into the hunting category, weapons like the AR-15 are designed as weapons of war.
Example comment: This is a threat to our interests overseas. Having these weapons transferred overseas creates a security threat as they can be procured from legitimate stores by terrorists and other criminal elements. There is no doubt American weaponry is far superior to the manufacturers and would serve our enemies well. As noted in various studies, there is a high percentage of weapons being used in terrorism and crimes around the world.
Example comment: I can appreciate the administration trying to help the gun industry, but we can not feed the next generation of terrorists with US made weapons.
Example comment: I am submitting this comment in strong opposition to the proposed rule to transfer oversight of non-military firearms exports from the State Department to the Commerce Department. If your agency approves this blatant corporate giveaway, I will do everything in my power to hold your leadership accountable for the resulting bloodshed that occurs globally. That will include advocating against your budget priorities across-the-board until a new administration cleans house.
Firearms are used to kill a thousand people every day around the world in acts of organized crime, political violence, terrorism, and human rights violations. Research indicates that the types of weapons being transferred to Commerce control, including AR-15, AK-47, and other military-style assault rifles and their ammunition, are weapons of choice for criminal organizations in Mexico and other Latin American countries that are responsible for most of the increasing and record levels of homicides in those countries. The export of these weapons should be subject to more controls, not less.
Some food for thought…
Towns are creating gun-store free zones.
While Mitch McConnell has thrown up his hands at the federal government stopping gun violence, local officials of Piscataway, a suburb of New Brunswick, NJ, don’t feel anywhere near as helpless. Inspired by a zoning ordinance in Alameda County, CA they have effectively banned the sale of guns within their borders with a zoning ordinance that makes locating a gun store extremely difficult. The 2nd amendment currently protects the right to own a gun owership but does not guarentee the right to sell one anywhere you want. To successfully challenge Piscataway’s law, as pro-choice activists have done with TRAP laws, a gun purchaser would have to argue that the restriction puts an impermissible burden on his or her Second Amendment rights with no public safety benefit. As there are towns on Piscataway’s border where firearms can be purchased, town officials are convinced they can withstand any legal challenge. Ventura county probably has enough gun stores already…
Contacts for Ventura City officials: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Gun companies are shielded from liability, but banks and others are not…
Gun companies enjoy broad legal protections when the products they make or sell are used to do harm, thanks to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, signed into law in 2005 by George W. Bush. However, that law doesn’t shield the banks that finance firearms businesses, nor the hotels, nightclubs or malls where mass shootings have occurred. Pressure from activists, along with being drawn into litigation after shootings, is convincing corporations that it’s in their economic self-interest to create rules for companies they invest in that our NRA-dependent government is too cowardly to do itself.
- Bank of America declared they would stop lending to companies that make military-inspired firearems for civilian use.
- Citigroup issued a new requirement for its retailers to restrict gun sales to anyone under 21, to stop selling bump stocks and high-capacity magazines, and to perform background checks on all gun sales.
- JPMorgan Chase, Amalgamated Bank, Visa, and Mastercard have created formal and informal working groups to consider the issue.
- Merrick Bank has “retained” $1.6 million of a bump stock manufacturer’s assets. Former client “Slide Fire” made the bump stocks used in the Las Vegas shooting. While the bank’s merchant agreement allows them to hold money against customer returns (eight states have passed laws banning or restricting the devices), observers believe Merrick will use it as a fund in case they are named in legal actions as Slide Fire’s financiers.
- Wells Fargo remains the largest financier of gun companies, stating that the government is responsible for any actions to control gun manufacturers, joining with the federal government in doing nothing. They claim that they are “passing on input” to the firearms industry they service, and are actively monitoring risk-management issues, such as liability for funding these clients. One bottom-line casualty: the American Federation of Teachers dropped the bank as a recommended mortgage lender for the national education union’s 1.7 million members. Not enough, apparently… Add your “input” here.
- Contact the Wells Fargo Board of Directors here:
- email Board of Directors
- email CEO Timothy J. Sloan
P.O. Box 63750 or P.O. Box 63710
San Francisco, CA 94163
- Corporate Offices
420 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
- Home Mortgage
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
P.O. Box 10335
Des Moines, IA 50306-0335
- Home Equity
Wells Fargo Home Equity-Internet
2222 W Rose Garden Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85027-2644
- Wells Fargo Financial
Wells Fargo Financial, Inc.
Customer Service F4008-080
Des Moines, IA 50309