Rep. Ilhan Omar grilled Trump administration officials Tuesday at a new policy that would loosen restrictions on shipping weapons like semi-automatic rifles to foreign countries, which was set in place just after the semi-automatic rifle was used in the Christchurch massacre that left 50 Muslims dead
In her questioning, Omar highlighted various deadly shootings in Berlin, Norway, and most recently, New Zealand, all of which involved the use of semi-automatic weapons.
The new policy would do away with the requirement that gunmakers get licenses from the Department of State, and instead allow them to sell to foreign countries with a license fee from the Department of Commerce – a much less expensive process that is more difficult to track, NBC News reports.
“On March 15 of this year, there was a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand that left 50 people dead. The shooter was armed with five guns – two of which were semi-automatic weapons, "Omar said during a congressional hearing on the new policy.
" I find 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 up to import assault rifles, "she added.
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it easier for American manufacturers to export that weapon? ”Omar asked Arms Control Association's Jeff Abramson, who was present at the hearing, and opposes the policy.
“ Indeed. That's what we're talking about, "he said.
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Omar did note that U.S. gunmakers would not be able to sell assault rifles in countries like New Zealand, which passed on to semi-automatic weapons just days after the deadly Christchurch shooting.
It would, however, make it "easier" to sell such weapons to countries like Omar's own Somalia, which have "governments with patterns of human rights violations," she said.