The Trump administration is preparing to make it easier for American gun makers to sell small arms, including assault rifles and ammunition, to foreign buyers, according to senior U.S. officials. Aides to President Donald Trump are completing a plan to shift oversight of international non-military firearms sales from the State Department to the Commerce Department, four officials told Reuters. More American guns in the world mean more export from the United States in a market it wasn't capitalizing on in the past.“There will be more leeway to do arms sales,” one senior administration official said. “You could really turn the spigot on if you do it the right way.”The push fits both Trump’s support for the gun lobby espoused on the campaign trail and his “Buy American” agenda.
“The NSC is working through the interagency process with the State Department and the Department of Commerce to ensure that U.S. industries have every advantage in the global marketplace, while at the same time ensuring the responsible export of arms,” said an official with the White House National Security Council.Since Trump was elected in November, the share price for Smith & Wesson owner American Outdoor Brands Corp (AOBC.O) is down 50 percent and Sturm Ruger (RGR.N) has fallen 26 percent.On Tuesday, following Reuters report on the administration’s plans, the share prices of Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor surged as much as 18 percent.Commercial gun exports would no longer be given the same scrutiny as missile and fighter jet sales, which often require congressional approval.“Commerce wants more exports to help reduce the trade deficit. And State wants to stop things because it sees (arms) proliferation as inherently bad,” one of the officials said.“We want to make a decision that prioritizes what’s more important,” the official said. “This will allow us to get in the (small arms sales) game for the first time ever.”What does this mean for the United States? More exports mean more foreign dollars being spent in the country, which could translate into more jobs. Beyond that, it will also allow US firepower to take its rightful spot in the international market.Read more news articles here.