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Biden admin skewered by GOP for rule designed to ‘intentionally harm’ gun industry

Fox’s first appearance: Senate Republicans are grilling President Biden’s Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo over moves aimed at “intentionally harming” the U.S. firearms industry.

Sen. Tim Scott, R.S.C., ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, led 22 other Senate Republicans in calling on the Biden administration to repeal “this deeply erroneous rule and the resulting decertification.”

Last month, the Department of Commerce (DOC) issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that would revoke valid export licenses from U.S. companies that “authorize the export of firearms to non-governmental end users” in certain territories.

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Sen. Tim Scott led more than two dozen Republicans in calling on the Biden administration to repeal a rule that revokes export licenses for gun companies. (Getty Images)

According to the DOC, this new rule will ensure that “lawfully exported firearms and related items facilitate regional destabilization, drug trafficking, human rights violations, political violence, and other activities that undermine the national security of the United States.” The purpose is to reduce the risk that the information will be diverted or misused for the purpose of Foreign policy interests. ”

But in his letter to Raimondo, Scott argued the new policy is an example of Biden using the administrative state and the rulemaking process as a means to “target legitimate American industries and advance progressive policies.”

“We are concerned that the Department of Defense has issued this rule with the purpose of intentionally harming the firearms industry,” the letter continued.

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firearm

The Biden administration plans to impose new restrictions on firearms exports and increase oversight of the trade to limit the diversion of guns to drug cartels, criminal organizations and gangs. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Republicans criticized the fact that the new rules would “cancel existing licenses in 36 countries and apply new licensing regimes to current license holders.” The lawmakers said this is unprecedented and that the United States has “past actions related to China’s high-tensile missiles, nuclear weapons proliferation, or China’s renewed use of its powers.” “Even when dealing with threats, they did not take such drastic measures.” It’s over Hong Kong. ”

The letter also requested that Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Under Secretary Alan Estevez and Assistant Secretary Thea Kendler be available to testify before the Banking Committee.

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Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo

Raimondo said the rule was due to national security concerns. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

The letter was co-led by Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tennessee, and was co-led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.C.), Sen. John Thune (R.S.D.), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). ), Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, and Rick Scott, R-Florida.

Lawrence Keene, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), told Fox News Digital that the rule is “another example of the Biden administration’s government-wide attack on the firearms industry for political purposes. ” he said. . ”

“This rule penalizes gun manufacturers and exporters by blocking hundreds of millions of dollars in legal exports, resulting in lost sales revenue and the loss of high-paying American manufacturing jobs. “It will be,” he added.

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Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott

Sen. Scott has criticized the Biden administration’s rulemaking. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Keene further argued that “the Biden administration’s claims that this overly burdensome rule is necessary to reduce foreign crime or improve national security are unfounded.”

The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

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