Biden administration suspends issuance of export licenses for civilian firearms and ammunition in latest attack on gun industry
11/02/2023 // Richard Brown // Views

The United States has implemented a 90-day suspension of export licenses for most civilian firearms and ammunition to non-governmental users. This decision, attributed to national security and foreign policy considerations, was announced by the Department of Commerce (DOC) in October.

The DOC has not provided further particulars regarding the suspension, which encompasses shotguns and optical sights.

An expedited review will be conducted to evaluate the "risk of firearms being diverted to entities or activities that promote regional instability, violate human rights or fuel criminal activities." Additional comments from the DOC were not available beyond the official announcement posted on its website.

This suspension encompasses a wide range of firearms and ammunition that are typically available for purchase in U.S. gun stores.

Johanna Reeves, a legal expert specializing in export controls and firearms at the Reeves & Dola law firm in Washington D.C., noted that such a comprehensive measure by the DOC is unprecedented. She mentioned that while individual country policies exist, nothing akin to this suspension has been seen before.

The temporary suspension of exports will not apply to export licenses for Ukraine, Israel and some other close allies.

This export ban may impact U.S. companies involved in firearm sales, such as Sturm Ruger & Co., Smith & Wesson Brands, and Vista Outdoor. It will also affect overseas customers, including firearm distributors and retailers.

Exporters will still have the option to submit license requests during this period, but they will be put on hold and not processed until the suspension is lifted. Previously issued export licenses will not be affected by this pause.

Regarding shipments to government clients, exporters will be required to specify end users explicitly. Applications that do not name government, military, or police users will be returned without further action.

Firearms industry boosts U.S. economy

The firearms, ammunition and hunting equipment industry in the U.S. plays a significant role in the nation's economy. It provides employment to approximately 172,697 individuals and indirectly supports an additional 220,999 jobs within supplier and ancillary industries. These roles encompass the provision of goods and services to manufacturers, distributors and retailers, as well as those reliant on sales to workers within the firearm and ammunition sector.

These jobs offer favorable compensation, with an average wage and benefits package of $65,000. In a time when every job is crucial, this industry contributes to maintaining economic stability. The U.S. presently grapples with an unemployment rate of 3.40 percent, leaving 6,026,000 people searching for employment and relying on unemployment benefits.

Beyond job creation, the manufacture and sale of firearms and hunting supplies make substantial contributions to the nation's economy. In 2022, this industry was responsible for an estimated $80.73 billion in total economic activity. (Related: WWIII fears prompt panic buying of 5.56 ammo, triggering a 39% price surge within a week.)

The industry's far-reaching impact extends to various sectors, benefitting firms seemingly unrelated to firearms. Workers in fields such as banking, retail, accounting, metalworking and even printing rely on the firearm and ammunition industry for their livelihood.

Moreover, the industry significantly boosts tax revenues, with contributions exceeding $7.48 billion in the United States. This includes property, income, and sales-based levies, further supporting the nation's financial infrastructure.

Visit for more stories related to firearms and ammunitions.

Watch this video that talks about the government's 90-day firearm export ban.

This video is from the High Hopes channel on

More related stories:

Biden admin calls for 'assault weapons' ban in wake of mass shooting, VP Harris suggests Australia-style confiscation.

Oklahoma lawmaker demanding state AG arrest and prosecute ATF agents who conducted an illegal raid on gun dealer.

California faces legal battle over new restrictions on concealed carry permits.

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