WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. initiated a 90-day halt on export licenses for various civilian firearms and ammunition, targeting non-governmental entities. Announced on October 27 by the Commerce Department, this move encompasses shotguns, optical sights, and more. Motivated by national security and foreign policy, the suspension seeks to prevent firearm misuse in regional conflicts, human rights abuses, or criminal activities.
The Commerce Department offered no extra details outside its website announcement. The suspension covers an extensive array of products, common in U.S. gun stores, representing a significant departmental shift. Johanna Reeves, from Washington’s Reeves & Dola, highlights the unique nature of this widespread action, contrasting it with usual country-specific policies.
Certain allies, including Ukraine and Israel, are exceptions in this temporary suspension. The decision may affect U.S. firearm sellers like Sturm Ruger & Co., Smith & Wesson Brands, and Vista Outdoor. The impact extends to international distributors and retail outlets specializing in firearms.
Exporters can apply for licenses during the suspension, facing delays until its end. Notably, current valid export licenses aren’t affected. However, shipments to government bodies require explicit end-user identification, with incomplete applications being rejected.