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Everytown Statement on House Hearing Regarding Reckless Gun Export Rules That Would Increase Gun Trafficking, Proliferation of Untraceable, Downloadable Guns

New Proposed Export Rules from the State and Commerce Departments Strip Government Authority to Block Untraceable, Downloadable Guns

WASHINGTON– Everytown for Gun Safety released the following statement following yesterday’s House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on “Proposed Small Arms Transfers.” During the hearing, members of Congress criticized the proposed final rules on gun exports, which would lift restrictions on online publication of untraceable, downloadable guns. The final rules are expected to move export controls from the State Department to the Commerce Department, largely abdicating the government’s role in overseeing the shipment of American guns abroad. Twenty state attorneys general have taken legal action against the Trump Administration to block it from allowing the publication of downloadable gun blueprints, and that lawsuit will continue even if the new rules are finalized.

“Last year, the Trump Administration ignored widespread public opposition and tried to sneak through a decision allowing the publication of downloadable gun blueprints,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “It would be an affront to both public safety and political wisdom for the State Department to now abdicate its oversight of downloadable guns, which would make it easy for anyone to make their own gun without a background check.”

In 2018, the Trump Administration attempted to allow the publication of blueprints for downloadable guns, without notice or a formal rulemaking process — even though the law required the State Department to protect Americans from untraceable, do-it-yourself firearms. After 20 state attorneys general filed suit, a federal judge enjoined the State Department from allowing the publication of the blueprints.

But now the State Department is planning to finalize a formal rule that would lift its oversight of downloadable guns, effectively allowing the publication of these dangerous blueprints. This dramatic change would enable people already prohibited from buying or possessing firearms to arm themselves by printing a gun at home.

Everytown supports the efforts of state officials to continue to fight in court to stop this dangerous new rule from taking effect.