Senator Robert Menendez
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Previous Post
Next Post

As Reuters reports, Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, is doing everything he can to prevent the Trump Administration from reforming the small arms export process and ending a punitive Obama-era tax on gunsmiths.

A senior U.S. senator said on Friday he would block President Donald Trump’s efforts to overhaul the weapons exports regime to make it easier for gun makers to sell small arms to foreign buyers.

Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he was placing a “hold” on a notification last month related to the White House’s effort to switch oversight of the export of small arms, including assault-style and sniper rifles, from the Department of State to the less rigorous jurisdiction of the Commerce Department.

There’s only one problem with Menendez’s ploy. He doesn’t have the power to stop the move.

As we wrote back in July, the Trump administration wants to move oversight of small arms exports from the State Department to the Commerce Department. This would not only make exports of small arms to friendly countries easier, it would also eliminate a burdensome Obama era tax on every gunsmith in the country.

Menendez waited until the final day of the 30-day final notice period to place his “hold” on the process. Unfortunately for Menendez, he can’t put a hold on the move. The only way to stop the move now is to pass a resolution in both houses of Congress and get it signed by President Trump. Or override a (sure) Trump veto of such a resolution.

According to people TTAG has spoken with who know, this appears to be an attempt by Menendez to let the administration know he intends to start that process even though he knows it doesn’t have a prayer of passage.

We also talked to the National Shooting Sports Foundation about the move. They follow these maneuvers closely and Mark Oliva, the NSSF’s Director of Public Affairs had this to say:

Senator Menendez didn’t object when the Trump administration most recently sent the informal and formal notification to Congress. He objected on the on the final day of the administration’s notification of the Final Rule. This rule can go into effect once the Commerce and State Department secretaries sign off.

Senator Menendez made a similar last-minute objection earlier this year and the administration, out of deference, pulled the notification and reworked it over his concerns over 3D printing. He is purposefully conflating his authority to object to an export license versus the rule-making process.

As to fees paid by gunsmiths…

This conversion would also eliminates the $2,250 fee paid by licensed gunsmiths who don’t produce and sell firearms, especially for export. This is a punitive fee that unfairly targets those who simply fix and improve firearms, yet never produce them.

House of Representatives Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) has made this a priority and the National Shooting Sports Foundation honored him for his commitment to the small business owner to eliminate unnecessary and overburdening fees. Senator Menendez’s objections would seek to keep that unfair fee in place.

Right now, all that has to happen to finalize the move from State to Commerce is for Senate-confirmed officials at both agencies to sign off on it. That would start a 45-day implementation clock. Once that happens, the move will be a done deal.

Unless, of course, Menendez can manage to round up veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress to reverse it.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. “Please back my political agenda while we try to execute an illegal coup attempt against a lawfully elected President. kthx” Menendez

    This clown belongs in jail. He barely skated on major criminal charges because Obama’s justice department covered for him.

    • This senator favors censorship when pharmaceutical interests are threatened. You two have a lot in common.

    • To Pwrserge: Over half the members of Congress, probably more, deserve to be in jail, period! This includes both House and Senate, especially the depraved Democrats, more than a few RINO’s: Republican In Name Only, and all their rotten LBJ/KGB Soviet style elitist ilk! I will state it once more: “I haven’t seen an anti-gun politician yet who wasn’t a deceitful left wing socialist crook! They can all be described in five words: deceitful crooked immoral treasonous and socialist! My pet peeve: willfully ignorant dumbed down stupid voters who willfully re-elect this scum. Don’t they know they are only voting their own asses into volunteer slavery and servitude to the almighty nanny state? Voter fraud could likewise be a contributing factor here also.

      James A. “Jim” Farmer
      Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County)
      Long Live The Great State of Jefferson!

  2. Funny- pushing to ban “small arms” sales but from what we’ve heard he loves small arms around his, well…

    • I was going to wait for yet one more instance before I raised a question, but I didn’t want to distract from an article which actually stayed ON TOPIC.

      Why in the name of God Almighty must every reference to the Tupperware pistol known as the namesake of its inventor always be made IN ALL CAPS???

      Jesus Christ on a Harley-Davidson, why does it always have to be GLOCK this, and GLOCK that, or GLOCK whatever???

      • They do it because the brand name — basically, the Glock logotype — is styled in all caps.

        It’s a poor editorial style decision, because if you’re consistent about the rule, it subordinates and distorts standard usage in paragraph text (which is *your* domain as a writer) in favor of the idiosyncrasies of visual branding. It’s also a poor decision because TTAG doesn’t actually do it with any consistency; only Glock gets that kind of deference, as far as I’m aware.

        I’ve been reading TTAG since it was just a scrappy little upstart blog back in 2011/12, and it’s been bugging me for just as long. But eh, whatever. It’s their space, and they can do whatever they want with it. 🙂

    • Specialist38,

      It looks like Dan did indeed pull that article. Kudos Dan, that was the right choice.

      I have been reading pretty much every article every day on this site since early 2013. That article is the first article that I ever blasted as being horrible. I know this site has rules that we are not supposed to insult the authors or their articles. I had to sound-off on that one.

      In all fairness we all deserve a Mulligan once in a great while and The Truth about Guns is no exception. While that article was a mistake, pulling it was the right thing to do and part of what makes this an excellent site.

      • I tend to agree it should have been pulled.

        Just surprised they pulled it. Only happened a few times since I’ve been on the site.

      • “It looks like Dan did indeed pull that article.”

        Dang, now I wanna know what the fuss was about. Google probably has a snapshot archive of it somewhere, but I lack the ‘skillz’ to extract it…

        • Basically, the article was touted as a review of the bren 10, and the author spent 3/4 of his review telling the audience what idiots they are if they use anything but a glock brand glock.

        • When I did a search ….it gave a listing but the date is wrong. Is this way to make something disappear on the inter web.

          The Bren Ten, The Fashion Of Firearms and The Sword Of Legend …
          Search domain
          Nov 1, 2013As to the Bren Ten, it’s discontinued for a reason.The gun was a pile of crap.The fan website warns visitors to not shoot any example without thorough X-rays or specialized examination of the slide for stress cracks.Apparently porous steel is a bad combination when combined with 10mm pressure.

        • Was it actually labeled as a review? If so, that was the real mistake. It wasn’t a review, it was an editorial — and not a bad one, either. It made a valid point in a reasonably interesting way.

        • If it was an editorial it should have been titled different (“glocks are the greatest and I am going to disparage everyone that disagrees with me” would have been a good title) If the author wanted to make the point that there are vastly better constructed pistols than the bren 10 (something I agree with) he should have included all of the other great designs, many of which were mentioned in the comments of that article. I have read sponsored content on this site that was more even handed and realistic than the author of that article was. People like the author are the entire reason there are glock haters.

  3. Lol
    Where’s all the animosity regarding how Trump isn’t friendly to gun owners?

    This sure looks like the very type of stuff I voted for Trump to do. This sounds like the stuff that makes America great again.

    • So, you’re OK with taking it in the butt as long as you get a reach around? Just because he helped us in one place doesn’t mean he hasn’t screwed us in another. The bump stock fiasco is much worse than anything he’s done to help us. I don’t care for the profligate spending he’s signed off on either.

      • The bump stock fiasco was more about the NRA and less about Trump. Certainly something I’m not happy about. Just trying to keep thing in prospective.

    • I despise Trump for what he has not done.

      That said, the most important thing that a Pres does is court nominations, of which his has been good.

      FYI I despise Demonrats for more

      • Why should any of that bother YOU?

        You seem to to have more in common with radical Muslims anyway. You seem to think women shouldn’t have any right to self protection.

  4. Senator Menangitis , isn’t that a brain disease . On a serious note , anything to hate on Trump. The Democrats have not an ounce of integrity among the lot of them .

    • It’s not a lack of integrity. It’s a lack of basic human morals. The DNC is a domestic terrorist organization and its leadership needs to get a long stay in GITMO to find out exactly how deep the rot goes.

    • Not just molesting young girls in another country, but fast tracking passports/approvals to get his FL plastic surgeon buddies girlfriends into the US. While he flus on the surgeons jet, cruises on the surgeons yacht, stays in the surgeons mansions…..
      The NJ State rep is a walking/talking turd who should be in prison.

  5. Lets hope now after all this time in office Trump makes good on his promise to do away with the outrageous tax on Gunsmiths that declared they were all manufacturers. In my area alone 95 per cent of the small local gunsmiths have shut down since Obama put that tax into effect. For the big boys that are still in business they love the restriction as most of them are now backed up at least 2 years to even get a re-barrel job or in some cases an action drilled and tapped. This will probably be the only thing I will thank Trump for doing providing he does not change his mind at the last minute as he often noted for doing.

    • You are too stupid to know what you are even talking about. You belong in uranium mine.

  6. Yo, BOBBY, help fixed that ^^$%$*&^%%^*up state you “represent” before worrying about something that really doesn’t affect you.

  7. sen menendez, is sweating EPSTEIN’S tapes, that will get him a sea-breeze cell at GITMO. the guilty demoncrats are “deflecting” their collective asses off about pedophile flights to EPSTEIN PEDO ISLAND. Ask, him how many times he was a “guest” of jeffy. Only a matter of time before they all “visit” GITMO….gun control efforts won’t save them.

  8. Just another jerk Dimwit Libitard obstructionist trying to mess with anything Trump wants to do. Even though this idiot doesn’t have the where with all to stop anything. Just tossing another brick into the machinery. Screw him and all these leftards.
    Im sick of these useless people already. I hope they all loose their jobs come 2020.

  9. I didn’t realize that this jerk was still breathing, good thing I moved away from the “tri state area” to a better (and warmer) place.

  10. WHY does he object ??? …… I mean I understand that it is hard to find a more anti-American group anywhere on the globe than our state dept…. but I was wondering if it was something special ?

Comments are closed.