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    Democrats Probe US National Gun Lobby on Money Ties to Republicans - Senator

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Jamie Raskin are probing possible financial links between the National Rifle Association (NRA) with the Republican Party and the 2016 Trump presidential campaign, Whitehouse said in a news release on Friday.

    "Whitehouse and… Raskin are seeking information from the NRA regarding allegations that the NRA violated campaign finance laws by coordinating communications with the Trump campaign and several campaigns for Republican Senate candidates," the release said.

    Whitehouse and Raskin have sent a letter to NRA President Wayne LaPierre, seeking information regarding the NRA’s relationship with media consulting firms that also worked for the Trump Campaign and other Republican candidates, the release noted.

    READ MORE: US Senators Reintroduce Bill to Expand Background Checks on Gun Sales

    The NRA is named in four pending complaints to the Federal Elections Commission alleging campaign finance law violations, the release pointed out.

    Raskin and Whitehouse are also pressing for information from five of the media consulting firms named in these reports," the release said.

    The OnMessage consulting firm established Starboard as a shell entity to disguise individuals directing campaign strategies and ads for Senate candidates who were also coordinating expenditures by the NRA, Starboard’s only client, the release added.

    US Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Block Proposed Loosening of Gun Export Rules

    Meanwhile, US Congressmen Norma Torres and Eliot Engel said in a joint news release that a newly introduced bill in the US House of Representatives would block a proposal by the Trump administration to transfer firearm export regulation from the State Department to the Commerce Department.

    "We should be doing everything we can to make sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands," Torres said in the release. "Unfortunately, the Trump administration is doing just the opposite — making it easier for terrorists, drug cartels and dictators to buy deadly weapons."

    The Prevent Crime and Terrorism Act would prohibit President Donald Trump from removing any items from the United States Munitions List, ensuring continued State Department oversight, the release said.

    READ MORE: NYT Report on Credit Card Arms Sales Push to 'Stigmatize Gun Ownership' — Journo

    The bill was introduced in wake of media reports, emerged on Thursday, that under the proposed rule change US gun makers will no longer be required to obtain licenses from the State Department to sell dozens of types of weapons in other countries, including semi-automatic weapons, flamethrowers and grenades.

    Instead, the US gun makers will need only a no-fee license from the Commerce Department, which is easier to obtain, according to the reports.

    lobby, gun, probe, Republican Party (United States)
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