Throughout the 20th century arms have not only been tradable goods, but also policy instruments. This paper focuses on countries supplying major conventional weapons (MCW), and investigates whether changes in political conditions impact the quantity of MCW supplied to third countries. In particular, it concentrates on democratic exporters and estimates a gravity-type panel tobit for the years 1975–2004. Results suggest that the exporter's chief executive, being right-wing, has a positive and significant impact on MCW exports. This may reflect a general right-wing tendency to support national industry and deregulate heavy industry exports. It is also found that higher concentration of power is associated with lower MCW exports, and that executives which serve the last year of their term and can run for re-election tend to decrease MCW exports.