House Dems Go After White House Official for Role in Overturning Suppressor Ban

House Dems believe rules were broken when the Trump administration overturned a suppressor ban.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are setting their sights on a White House lawyer and former general counsel at the American Suppressor Association for his work overturning a ban on foreign sales of suppressors to private individuals.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on National Security announced this week an investigation into then-Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to the White House Chief of Staff Michael B. Williams. Prior to his role in the Trump administration, Williams worked as general counsel for the ASA alongside his brother and president of the ASA, Knox Williams.

On July 10, 2020, the Trump administration overturned a ban on American companies selling suppressors to private foreign individuals. House Dems allege that Williams acted out of personal and financial interest to push the White House to overturn the ban since suppressor companies stand to make millions from the decision.

“Michael Williams’ involvement in U.S. gun policy, and specifically his reported role in overturning the State Department’s 2002 restrictions on the foreign export of firearm suppressors, raises significant concerns about whether the safety of our men and women in uniform is being exchanged for personal or commercial profit,” Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass. and chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, wrote in a letter to the director of the Office of Management and Budget Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: NRA, NSSF Cheer Changes to Suppressor Export Rules while Everytown and Moms Demand Pout

The investigation stems from a July 13 New York Times article that attempted to peg Williams with illicit or illegal behavior.

But the hit piece was unsuccessful. The Times was unable to find any evidence that Williams violated any lobbying or ethics rules, including the Trump administration rule that prohibits government officials from working on matters affecting their former employers within two years of leaving. Williams left ASA in 2017 and did not work on suppressor-related issues until 2019.

American suppressor companies were already able to sell their products to foreign governments, but House Dems argue that selling suppressors to private foreign individuals will put American service members in danger.

SEE ALSO: Suppressor Showdown: Full Review of Dead Air Nomad-L along with Nomad-30, Sandman, and Hybrid (Video)

But it’s unclear whether this situation would actually arise, and a State Department spokeswoman told the New York Times that the ban was ineffective: suppressors are more readily available in foreign countries now than when the ban was imposed, she said.

She also told the Times that suppressor companies shouldn’t be boxed out of markets that other manufacturers can take advantage of.

“U.S. companies should have the same opportunity to compete in the international marketplace as other manufacturers around the world,” she said.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Fred Wyatt July 31, 2020, 4:29 pm

    TRUMP/PENCE 2020 PEOPLE!

  • David Welsh July 31, 2020, 1:42 pm

    They are lying traitors.

  • Dexter Winslett July 31, 2020, 12:08 pm

    Why do democrats still breathe air? They are all ungodly, ant-American, and anti-CHRIST. Why are they still allowed to live and breathe in the republic. The military swears an oath to defend the constitution. Arrest every democrat. Convict them of treason. Execute them. Problem solved.

    • Rattlerjake July 31, 2020, 2:07 pm

      It is still beyond me how we violate our Constitution by allowing any leftist to hold any governmental position in this country, when their ideology is anti-Constitution and anti-American. It’s equivalent to allowing a pedophile to run a daycare!

    • Craig A Moritz July 31, 2020, 2:29 pm

      The suggestion of killing those with whom you have political disagreement is the most undemocratic, un-American of opinion. It is also immoral and unethical.

      It is also clear that you have no knowledge of the United States Constitution or the role of the military.
      We enjoy life in a democracy. That means everyone’s vote is equal – like it or not.

      The answer is in grassroots education: take an anti-gunner to the range. Don’t shoot them or insult them, but show them how much fun, and challenging shooting is. I have personally turned seven of those you you aspire to execute into permitted pistol-carrying citizens. Only by helping our fellow citizens to become safe, responsible firearms owners and operators will show the real value they play in our society.

      • RC77 August 2, 2020, 3:37 pm

        I commend you on showing those 7 what a shooting range is about, but it doesn’t mean you converted them from their leftist views; only that they now are not scared of firearms.
        Maybe Dexter don’t know the role of the military, but I do. I’m 20+ years retired Army. And think that you don’t know the role yourself based on comparison of the remarks by both of you.
        Furthermore, I think you are an individual that lacks knowledge of the government, and more importantly, our constitution.
        We do NOT live in a democracy! And only a democrat says that. WE LIVE IN A REPUBLIC!!! Look up the difference for a change. And absolutely NO WHERE in The Declaration Of Independence, The United States Constitution, or any other founding documents will you find our great country being written or called, ‘a democracy’. That term came from democrats who are trying to change our way of life and destroy everything this country was built and founded on.
        WE ARE A REPUBLIC!!!

  • Pat Bryan July 31, 2020, 8:54 am

    Reeks of corruption to me. You know, “Drain The Swamp” meant getting lobbyists OUT of government, not actively enlisting them to grind their axes on the government dole.
    This has NOTHING to do with the Hearing Protection bill that is stalled in the House. This is a corrupt political quid pro quo. If you can’t smell it, then you have lost your sense of smell.

    • Branyn July 31, 2020, 11:26 am

      I disagree. If it was benefitting only one manufacturer, then sure. But since it’s leveling the field for ALL U.S. suppressor manufacturers to sell abroad, I don’t see a problem.

    • Fred Wyatt July 31, 2020, 4:20 pm

      The only thing I smell Pat, is shit that continues to spew from your mouth! This isn’t a website for you. The site you want is for the anti-american, anti-Christ site, with all the other Democrats that you crawl with. Leave the good people to plot against you! LMFAO!

  • Ziggy July 31, 2020, 8:05 am

    Since when does the communist democrat party care about US military personnel? They have routinely denied meaningful pay raises, housing, and overseas pay allowances. Some members of congress have held up promotions just because they were butthurt. The communist/democrat party knows they can’t buy military votes so we are left without. Many more votes can be bought through the welfare system.

    • Branyn July 31, 2020, 11:22 am

      Yeah, that was my first thought too…so NOW the Dems care about service members.

      • David Welsh July 31, 2020, 1:40 pm

        They are lying traitors.

  • Frank S. July 31, 2020, 7:36 am

    All that needs to be done on suppressors is a statement that they can only reduce sound so much. A minimum decibel level that still allows a firearm to be easily heard, but below the hearing damage range. That should be satisfactory to anyone unless they just don’t want anyone to have them — period. Require a license to have one that suppresses sound lower than that minimum level, or a ban on lower than that level. I would add that it should be a minimum level with STANDARD AMMO. Sub sonic ammo is usually used just for target shooting and would be quieter, but I’d be okay with a “hard” minimum decibel level (as long as it was below hearing damage levels) regardless of ammo.

    • Branyn July 31, 2020, 11:30 am

      I disagree. If a license is required, then you’re going to have the same situation you have now with the tax stamp. Suppressors shouldn’t have been regulated in the first place. You should be able to go into a store and buy a suppressor just like you would buy ammo.

      • David Welsh July 31, 2020, 1:42 pm

        Yep. OSHA would approve of suppressors. Dems hate uniformed personnel–unlesd they are Cuban or Chicoms troops.

      • Dave Emery August 3, 2020, 4:01 pm

        License to carry equals registration that you carry. 4473 equals registration for that firearm. Tax Stamp..same. Wake up!

    • Greg B. August 3, 2020, 10:14 am

      Gonna disagree with some of your post. We routinely have to night hunt for feral hogs because they have become more nocturnal due to being hunted in daylight. So, the polite way to neighboring land owners is to use a suppressor with subsonic ammo. This has the additional benefit of not scaring off the other hogs in a sounder when you drop one of them. And that benefit works day or night.

      Suppressors have no business being on the NFA list any longer. Period. Especially when other countries make them mandatory for noise abatement, not unlike the mufflers on our cars.

  • Joe Burge July 31, 2020, 6:11 am

    Typical leftist double-standard. There is no proof that suppressors pose any risk to American service people. Useless bureaucratic restrictions on doing business. But, there is significant proof that the 2020 NDAA is so chock full of pork. Like the desert tortoise investigation? Or the increased gender studies? OR the radical red-flag service-member gun confiscation pork, all attached to a bill for paying the military.

    That poses a much greater risk against American service than any ridiculous ban on doing business.

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