Heritage Action Launches Campaign to Fight Biden’s Latest Attack on American Firearms

Press Releases · May 16, 2024

WASHINGTON—Heritage Action, a conservative grassroots organization with two million activists nationwide, today announced a new campaign to fight the Biden administration’s latest attempt to undermine the Second Amendment by curbing firearm manufacturers’ access to international markets.

Heritage Action will activate millions of grassroots conservatives to submit comments in opposition to an interim final rule (IFR) from the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) that prohibits civilians in dozens of countries from lawfully purchasing firearms and ammunition from American companies.

Heritage Action Executive Vice President Ryan Walker released the following statement to announce the campaign and comment portal:

“The Department of Commerce’s rule undermines Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms by villainizing a crucial sector of the American economy. Banning the sale of American-made firearms to dozens of countries is a cunning way to target lawful gun manufacturers and owners at home by claiming free citizens around the world can’t be trusted with firearms.

“This is another power grab to force policy changes that could never get through Congress from an administration with no respect for our Constitution or separation of powers. Heritage Action looks forward to mobilizing an army of concerned Americans to voice loud opposition to Biden’s firearm export ban.”

Amy Swearer, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation and Second Amendment scholar explained the importance of fighting Biden’s proposed regulation:

“Biden’s firearm export rule is designed to impose more arbitrary burdens and administrative red tape on the lawful gun industry—all while greatly expanding the government’s ability to police many thousands of individual foreign citizens who legally purchase American gun exports.

“Worse, the administration defends some of its changes by claiming—erroneously—that firearms lawfully exported to civilians are more likely to be diverted into black markets than firearms lawfully sold to foreign militaries and police agencies. While that is simply false, the rule does bite hook, line, and sinker into the international gun control narrative that even corrupt and inept governments are more trustworthy with guns than are ordinary civilians.

“This rule underscores the Biden administration’s disdain for lawful civilian gun owners in general, and highlights the open secret that it will attack the lawful gun industry at every available opportunity. In case there was any doubt, the new regulations once again said the quiet part out loud: They truly believe ordinary people cannot and should not be trusted with firearms. A well-armed government is good, but a well-armed citizenry is bad. And they’re willing to push this narrative with manipulated half-truths that bury the lede and twist the facts.”

Heritage Action will engage with millions of conservatives through various digital platforms and work with aligned groups to generate engagement and comments. Pursuant to the federal rulemaking process, Americans have until July 1, 2024 to submit a comment opposing the firearm export ban.


Increasing the red tape on every gun sale made abroad to 36 countries and creating a “presumption of denial” for sales is estimated to result in about a 7%—or $40 million—reduction of the current $600 million in U.S. firearm exports per year.

All firearms from the U.S. are already marked with serial numbers. But this rule would create an even more bureaucratic process for American firearm companies to sell their products by forcing them to adopt new export control classification numbers (ECCNs) as an additional way of tracking American firearms abroad. This would not improve tracking, as any country can already record serial numbers—it simply increases compliance costs and lost revenue for manufacturers.

Of the 36 countries blacklisted by the rule, a notable number already have strict gun control measures. As is true here in the United States, the problem is not law abiding citizens who have legally acquired firearms or the gun manufacturers themselves. The ATF's own analysis of international crime gun tracing found that less than 1% of the firearms lawfully exported out of the U.S. between 2016 and 2020 were used in international crime.