The United States Commerce Department has never taken such sweeping actions on firearms exportations until now. Citing national security and foreign policy interests, the Department announced Friday that the U.S. will stop issuing export licenses for most civilians firearms and ammunition for 90 days or all non-governmental users.
Reuters reports that the Commerce Department declined to comment beyond the announcement posted on its website. No additional details were provided on the halt, which also includes shotguns and optical sights, but said an urgent review will assess the “risk of firearms being diverted to entities or activities that promote regional instability, violate human rights, or fuel criminal activities.”
Export licenses for Ukraine and Israel, as well as some other close allies, will be exempted from the temporary halt in exports. Overseas customers include distributors and stores that sell firearms. Exporters can continue to submit license requests during the pause, but they will be “held without action” until the pause is lifted, adds Reuters.
Commerce said the pause does not affect previously issued export licenses. For shipments to government clients, exporters must name specific end users, while applications with unnamed government, military, and police users will be “returned without action.”
Reuters quotes Johanna Reeves, a lawyer who specializes in export controls and firearms with the law firm Reeves & Dola in Washington. The halt covers most of the guns and ammunition that could be purchased in a U.S. gun store, said Reeves. She also said she had not seen the Commerce Department take such a sweeping action like this before. “For sure they have individual country policies – but nothing like this,” she said.
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In a potentially explosive move, House Republicans are reportedly mulling a closed-door meeting on Friday morning to discuss the prospect of conducting a formal vote for an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
Reports reveal that GOP leaders are contemplating a House-wide vote to greenlight an investigation into Biden’s actions, with the chairmen of the three committees investigating the President and his family set to present their case during this crucial meeting.
The push for an impeachment inquiry, directed by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy in September, faces White House dismissal, branding the probe as illegitimate without a formal vote. GOP leaders strategize that a House-wide vote would increase pressure on the Biden administration to comply with House Republicans’ subpoenas and information requests.
Moderate Republicans have thrown their weight behind the investigation, with Rep. Carlos Gimenez asserting, “There’s plenty of smoke coming out of the White House which justifies an impeachment inquiry.”
Moreover, Rep. Don Bacon, a proponent of initiating a formal impeachment inquiry, clarifies that the vote would signify House GOP support for investigating Biden but wouldn’t result in immediate impeachment.
While some Republicans gauge sufficient support for the measure to pass, others caution that no definitive decision has been reached, emphasizing that the formal impeachment inquiry vote remains in the discussion phase.
In a recent press conference, GOP leaders accused Biden and his family of leveraging his vice-presidential tenure for personal gain, alleging a corrupt influence-peddling scheme involving millions from China, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania.
According to reports from Fox News, Biden and his allies vehemently deny any wrongdoing, with the White House dismissing the inquiry as a “baseless fishing expedition.” White House spokesman Ian Sams characterized the allegations against President Biden as debunked and framed the Republican efforts as a politically motivated attempt to divert attention from internal chaos and dysfunction. As the House Republicans navigate this complex terrain, the stakes in this high-profile inquiry continue to escalate.
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