Newsletter: Biden Admin Considers Curtailing Civilian Gun Exports to Israel, Ukraine

This week, we’re publishing a leaked document that shows the Biden Administration is looking at instituting new restrictions on gun exports to Israeli and Ukrainian civilians–among others.

The draft proposal would implement a sort of gun registry for foreign citizens regulated by the Commerce Department and administered by American gun companies. Commerce, who emphasized the draft isn’t finalized, says it’s necessary to combat international gun trafficking. The firearms industry says it’s tantamount to an “assault weapons” export ban. You can read the rule yourself below.

However the proposal shakes out, as I explain for Reload Members, it represents President Joe Biden’s latest attempt to unilaterally implement gun restrictions ahead of 2024.

We also saw big news from the states this week.

In California, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the state’s latest gun-carry restrictions. In New Mexico, a gun-control group is being investigated over a buyback program. In Colorado, gun-control activists are surely happy to see the state climb Giffords’ state rankings. In New Jersey, a new state lawsuit against gun companies may end up backfiring.

Plus, Discourse Magazine’s David Masci joins the podcast to explain his concern with how gun sales have become a chaos meter.


A rack of AR-15s on display at Shot Show 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada
A rack of AR-15s on display at Shot Show 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada / Stephen Gutowski

Leaked Document: Biden Admin Looks to Impose Civilian Gun Restrictions on Israel, Ukraine Through American Exports
By Stephen Gutowski

The United States Department of Commerce may soon clamp down on gun sales in other countries, according to a draft rule obtained by The Reload.

The new policy would curtail civilian sales of American-made firearms in dozens of countries around the world, including nations like Israel and Ukraine where demand has risen in recent years. The draft, which was first provided to a Heritage Foundation analyst who asked to remain anonymous, outlines a series of new requirements for American gun exporters. Among them are requirements that exporters collect passport information from end buyers in some countries and provide a purchase order for each gun brought into those nations.

The proposal says it is the end result of the Biden Administration’s recent move to temporarily pause commercial exports of all guns to certain countries this fall. It claims the proposed measures come after a Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) review of gun exports.

“The review was conducted with urgency and enabled BIS to more effectively assess and mitigate risk of firearms being diverted to entities or activities that promote regional instability, violate human rights, or fuel criminal activities,” the draft reads. “By publishing this rule, BIS is taking an additional step to further U.S. national security and foreign policy interests regarding these items.”

Click here to read more.


Biden SOTU 2022 / Screenshot
President Biden at the 2022 State of the Union / Screenshot

Analysis: Biden Continues Unilateral Push for Gun Restrictions Ahead of 2024 Election [Member Exclusive]
By Stephen Gutowski

With 2024 fast approaching, President Joe Biden is ramping up efforts to impose new gun restrictions without Congressional approval.

On Thursday, The Reload published a leaked draft of a new rule that would curtail American gun exports. That is just the latest in an increasingly long line of unilateral moves by the Biden Administration to enact gun control before the election despite the lack of new legislation. It represents a bet by President Biden that voters will reward his attempts to restrict guns.

Biden’s overall approval rating is sitting at an all-time low as he rounds the corner into the election year. He currently trails all three of the leading Republican candidates for president. He’s nearly five points behind Nikki Haley in the Real Clear Politics average of polls. The same average has him trailing Donald Trump by 2.3 points in a potential rematch despite defeating the former president just three years ago.

His performance on gun policy appears to be one factor weighing down his re-election bid.

If you’re a Reload Member, click here to read more. If not, join today for exclusive access to this and hundreds of other pieces!


US flag and California state flag in front of a palm tree in Monterey, CA.
The California state flag flies on a pole below the American flag / Photo by Tina Chelidze on Unsplash

Federal Judge Blocks Most California ‘Gun Free Zone’ Restrictions
By Jake Fogleman

California’s new concealed carry law is “sweeping, repugnant to the Second Amendment, and openly defiant of the Supreme Court,” a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney issued a preliminary injunction against California’s S.B. 2 on Wednesday. The order prevents California from banning licensed gun carry in dozens of so-called sensitive places, including parks and private property open to the public.

“CCW permitholders are among the most responsible, reliable law-abiding citizens,” Judge Carney, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote in May v. Bonta. “They have been through a vigorous vetting and training process following their application to carry a concealed handgun. The challenged SB2 provisions unconstitutionally deprive this group of their constitutional right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense.”

Click here to read more.


A police officer and a holstered handgun
A police officer and a holstered handgun | Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels

New Mexico Gun-Control Group Faces Investigation Over Gun Buyback
By Jake Fogleman

A private gun buyback event hosted by gun-control activists may have violated New Mexico’s gun laws.

San Juan County Sheriff R. Shane Ferrari (R.) announced on Monday that his office was launching a formal investigation into New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV). He said he is looking to determine if it was illegal under state law for the group to exchange gift cards for unwanted firearms without first conducting a background check.

“I want to inform you that I am investigating San Juan County citizens’ complaints on New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence’s gun buyback program not complying with New Mexico State Law 30-7-7.1 ‘Unlawful sale of a firearm without a background check,’” Ferrari said in a Facebook post.

Click here to continue reading.


Gun-control activist Gabby Giffords listens to a speech at a Supreme Court protest on November 7th, 20223
Gun-control activist Gabby Giffords listens to a speech at a Supreme Court protest on November 7th, 20223 / Stephen Gutowski

Colorado Sees Biggest Boost in Gun-Control Group Annual Rankings
By Jake Fogleman

The Centennial State won praise from gun-control advocates over its busy year of enacting new firearms restrictions.

The Giffords Law Center released the 2023 edition of its Annual Gun Law Scorecard on Monday. The report highlights Colorado as the “Most Improved” state for the year because it passed five of Giffords’ preferred policies. It notes that the state climbed four spots in the group’s rankings, landing it in the top 10 states with the strictest gun laws for the first time.

Meanwhile, the group gave fellow Mountain West state Montana the “biggest drop” in its rankings for passing a law requiring courts to apply strict scrutiny in gun-rights cases. It fell five spots to the 45th-ranked state and received an “F” letter grade from the group—a grade shared by 20 other states in this year’s report.

Click here to read the rest.


Podcast: The Problem With Chaos Spiking Gun Sales (Ft. Discourse Magazine’s David Masci)
By Stephen Gutowski

This week, we’re taking a look at record gun sales from a different point of view.

Discourse Magazine editor David Masci wrote a piece recently noting the straightforward problem of high gun sales in an era where sales have come to serve as a kind of chaos meter. He joins the show to discuss the concerning idea that more people are buying guns because more people are feeling insecure in America. He argued that even if you believe in gun rights, as he does, that trend should be worrying.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I examine the Supreme Court’s recent refusal to grant emergency relief to gun-rights plaintiffs.

You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here. Video of the episode is available on our YouTube channel.


Pistols laid out for sale at a gun show booth in Virginia during July 2023
Pistols laid out for sale at a gun show booth in Virginia during July 2023 / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: Why New Jersey Might Help the Gun Industry By Suing It [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin (D.) filed “public nuisance” lawsuits against gun companies for the first time this week. It could be the undoing of the law that allowed him to do so.

On Tuesday, Platkin announced his office was filing separate lawsuits against a New Jersey gun store and a Pennsylvania gun show promoter/unfinished firearms parts kit seller. The first suit alleges that FSS Armory, a New Jersey-based federal firearms licensee (FFL), engaged in “unlawful and reckless practices” because thieves broke into the store and stole 20 firearms from store displays in the middle of the night in January.

The second suit alleges that Eagle Shows and JSD Supply—separate businesses under the same ownership—have “targeted the sale of ghost gun products to New Jersey residents” by holding gun shows in Pennsylvania and offering unserialized firearms parts for sale at those shows.

The suits state that some of the guns stolen in the FSS Armory burglary and firearms purchased from Eagle Shows have been recovered by New Jersey police.

If you’re a Reload Member, click here to continue reading. If not, buy a membership today for exclusive access to this and hundreds of other pieces!


Outside The Reload

Is there a way to have gun rights and gun safety? The veteran owner of Allegheny Arms may have found a solution | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | By Laura Esposito

Colorado wants to hire lawyers to prosecute gun crimes in federal court, some of which are no longer illegal under state law | The Colorado Sun | By Jesse Paul

Kentucky Republican senator presents proposal that would remove guns from those deemed a danger | WDRB | By Jason Riley

Opponents of Michigan’s new ‘red flag’ gun law hope to undo it at the ballot box | WMUK | By Colin Jackson

Firearm Retailers, 2A Groups Sue Over ‘Orwellian’ California Law | Bearing Arms | By Cam Edwards

California concealed carry rule changes create rush for permits ahead of January 1st law shift | KMPH | By Rich Rodriguez

Suspect with violent past got gun from private sale in Austin shooting spree | CBS Austin | By Andrew Freeman


That’s it for this week in guns.

If you want to hear expert analysis of these stories and more, make sure you grab a Reload membership to get our exclusive analysis newsletter every Sunday!

I’ll see you all next week.

Thanks,
Stephen Gutowski
Founder
The Reload

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