About the Import Ban

July 17th, 2014

Yesterday, the President signed an executive order that places Concern Kalashnikov (formerly Izhmash) on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. That means the importation of their products has been banned. It's rare for these orders to be rescinded, even by later administrations, so it's probably permanent.

Somebody's going to scream "back door gun control," but that isn't the case. This is a sanction on the Russian government for their actions in Ukraine. While the SDN list blocks assets and generally forbids Americans from dealing with the entity in question, products that have already been imported and paid for are unaffected.

How does this affect the domestic market? Not much at all. If you owned one before the order was signed, you can keep it. You can also sell it if you like. Retailers with existing inventory can do so as well.

Does this mean there's going to be a shortage of rifles marketed as "AK-47's?" No. Most such rifles on the market are the Century clones made in Romania or Bulgaria. Those are unaffected. The only banned products are those from Kalashnikov, notably the Saiga line of firearms.

As it is, there haven't been many Saigas on store shelves the last couple of years. The sporter line of rifles was a bit of a flop since they required extensive conversion to accept aftermarket parts and standard magazines. The Saiga-12 shotgun was a novel product, but they priced themselves out of the market during the 2013 panic.

Effectively, we'll see the Saiga-12 shotguns go up even further in price, but that's the net effect to the consumer. If someone wants a rifle that looks like an AK-47, there are plenty of options.

That, or they could get a real rifle instead of a crude piece of stamped sheet-metal hammered together by drunken Communists.

  1. SPEMack wrote, running Android Browser on Android 4.0.4

    A crude German designed rifle made by drunken Communists.

    Love the Enfield link.

    Comment on July 18, 2014 @ 8:47 am

  2. Chase wrote, running Mozilla Firefox 30.0 on Windows 7

    I just hope the inexpensive Soviet bloc ammunition doesn't disappear. I just bought a Mosin because both Mosins and their ammo are cheap. During the California-mandated ten-day wait, this hit us.

    Comment on July 20, 2014 @ 2:17 am

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