On Wednesday—a day before the Malaysian airliner was shot down—President Obama quietly signed an executive order targeting Russian oil, natural gas, finance and defense companies. Hidden in the details, was a section that effectively bans AK-47s. As always, the devil is in the details, so read on for the straight scoop.
While signing an executive order to impose new sanctions on Russia, President Obama used his pen to also further his agenda of gun control by including a ban of parts used to build or repair Russian AK-47s. That is the headline and certainly bad news for the gun community. The order immediately will have an effect on Concern Kalashnikov.
KALASHNIKOV CONCERN (a.k.a. CONCERN KALASHNIKOV; a.k.a. IZHEVSKIY MASHINOSTROITEL’NYI ZAVOD OAO; f.k.a. IZHMASH R&D CENTER; f.k.a. JSC NPO IZHMASH; f.k.a. NPO IZHMASH OAO; a.k.a. OJSC CONCERN KALASHNIKOV; f.k.a. OJSC IZHMASH; f.k.a. SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION ASSOCIATION IZHMASH JOINT STOCK COMPANY), 3, Derjabin Pr., Izhevsk, Udmurt Republic 426006, Russia; Registration ID 1111832003018 [UKRAINE2].
Concern Kalashnikov’s U.S. importer is RWC Group. The new ban will include Izhmash rifles—rimfire and centerfire bolt-action rifles—and semi-automatic Saiga rifles and shotguns based on the Kalashnikov action. Fortunately, there are a few facts in which gun enthusiasts may find some solace. First, the law only applies to Russian made AKs. Therefore, all AK’s and parts imported from other countries are still legal. Second, Executive Order 13662 does not impact any firearms or parts that have already been imported—well almost…it seems there was a gray area regarding item already imported, but which money was still owed to Concern Kalashnikov.
The obvious question of transactions in progress was immediately raised, and the Treasury Department offered a quick clarification:
374. If I own a Kalashnikov product, is that product blocked by sanctions? Am I able to resell a Kalashnikov product at a gun show or other secondary market? If a U.S. person is in possession of a Kalashnikov Concern product that was bought and fully paid for prior to the date of designation (i.e., no payment remains due to Kalashnikov Concern), then that product is not blocked and OFAC sanctions would not prohibit the U.S. person from keeping or selling the product in the secondary market, so long as Kalashnikov Concern has no interest in the transaction. New transactions by U.S. persons with Kalashnikov Concern are prohibited, however, and any property in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest is blocked pursuant to OFAC’s designation of Kalashnikov Concern on July 16, 2014. If a U.S. person has an inventory of Kalashnikov Concern products in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest (for example, the products are not fully paid for or are being sold on consignment), we advise that U.S. person to contact OFAC for further guidance on handling of the inventory. [7-16-2014]
In plain English, it means as long as you own the product and do not owe Kalashnikov Concern any money for it, you are clear of the executive order, can shoot, sell or do whatever you please with the firearm or part within the limits of the existing laws. However, if you have any product on consignment, layaway, or what-have-you, you’ll have to work it out with Kalashnikov Concern—without running afoul of the federal government.
The purpose of the executive order was to sanction Russia for actions relating to the Ukraine. However, this is unlikely to move the needle on that front, but will certainly impact the future of RWC Group and the American jobs it provides. As of the time of this writing, RWC is expected to release a statement in the coming days. However, by the time of this article’s publication, it may already be available.