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Rep. Omar Calls Out Trump Admin’s Policy to Ease Overseas Rifle Sales in Light of New Zealand Shootings

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) called out the Trump administration’s support for the export of U.S. semi-automatic rifles in light of the New Zealand mosque terror shootings, which resulted in the killing of 50 people.

“On March 15 of this year, there was a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand that left 50 people dead,” Omar noted during a Congressional hearing on a new State Department export policy that would ease the process for overseas sales of U.S.-made semiautomatic rifles. “The shooter was armed with five guns — two of which were semi-automatic weapons.”

“Is it your understanding that this policy would make it easier for American manufacturers to export that weapon?” She asked the Arms Control Association’s Jeff Abramson, who was testifying against the new policy.

“Indeed. That’s exactly what we’re talking about,” he replied.

Omar later noted that she finds “it a little disturbing that we are having this conversation 11 days after the shooting in New Zealand, talking to people who manufacture guns, arguing for the need to loosen restrictions to import assault rifles.”

Another interviewee clarified to Omar that the State Department’s new policy would not allow U.S. gun manufacturers to violate other nations’ firearm laws, meaning residents of countries like New Zealand — which put forward stricter gun control in response to the Christchurch terrorist attacks — would not be able to import rifles that are illegal in their locality.

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Caleb Ecarma is a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: caleb@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma