Obama Signs Executive Order Banning AK-47s

AK-47 with camo finish, barrel pointed to the right, lying on a log.

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.

Mikhail Kalashnikov
Mikhail Kalashnikov
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.


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.

Picture shows a black Saiga semi-auto rifle with a fixed stock.
The Saiga utilizes the same design as the AK-47 with a gas piston operating system.
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.

Did the President simply act within the Nation’s interest, or were firearms included as part of a larger gun control agenda? Give us your take on the President’s latest use of his pen in the comment section.

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Comments (291)

  1. I can not believe Obama did that. He’s out now, no worries; he can never manage again. The right to bear arms includes all foreign arms, including keeping those from the battlefield & ones from England & France. He would not understand that anyway because he never fought in the patriotic wars, like me. The amendment never had a restriction, that’s what my father Thomas wrote. It was not meant to be changed for capitalism. I know why though, his stimulus package included selling stateside AR’s. Disregard that order.

  2. Pingback: Ode to the AK
  3. “Of all the weapons in the vast soviet arsenal, nothing was more profitable than Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947. More commonly known as the AK-47, or Kalashnikov. It’s the world’s most popular assault rifle. A weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple 9 pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood. It doesn’t break, jam, or overheat. It’ll shoot whether it’s covered in mud or filled with sand. It’s so easy, even a child can use it; and they do. The Soviets put the gun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag. Since the end of the Cold War, the Kalashnikov has become the Russian people’s greatest export. After that comes vodka, caviar, and suicidal novelists. One thing is for sure, no one was lining up to buy their cars. ” – Quote from “Lord of War”

    It’s too bad that these sanctions have effected the import of quality AK builds, but to Mr. Ruger’s point, it’d be kind of strange to impose sanctions on Russia without AKs being included. It’s crazy to me to see entry level AKs now come in at a higher cost than entry level ARs, and what I would refer to as just a “standard AK” come in at the same price point as a tricked out AR.

    I haven’t researched this much, but my hope is that anything proprietary about the AK platform is long expired, and U.S. manufacturers will take this as an opportunity to invest in the tooling, and make quality receivers and forged/ lined barrels (not the garbage we’re seeing right now).

    I also hope that other manufacturer’s (not necessarily U.S.) take the recent events as an opportunity to manufacture and import affordable 7.62X39, 7.62X54(not sure this one should be on the list), and 5.45X39 ammo.

    1. Also, as a side note, I know the recent Century Arms AKs (100% U.S. manufactured) will get brought up. I heard the reviews on the milled ones are outstanding.

      I haven’t shot one, but I have lifted one and I was not feeling buff enough that day to think that I would enjoy hauling that rifle around for any length of time.

      A quality U.S. made stamped AK (as close to the established Russian manufacturing process, open to improvements) with a solid barrel seems like a wet dream to me.

    2. One AK-47 that did not make your review is the new Kalashnikov USA AK-47 (.

      Their rifle is similar to the Saiga I previously purchased, but they offer several models of a finished rifle.

      I understand the rifle is being manufactured in Pennsylvania with the full approval of the Russian AK-47 manufacturer.

      Prices range from the low $700 to $999.00. That pricing is very attractive based on my initial investment and related conversion costs, and it is a real AK-47.

      Kalashnikov USA is now manufacturing a U.S. AK-47 under license from Concern Kalashnikov, and this will eliminate the need for 9022r compliance. Additional detail is available at:

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  5. I suspect I will rile up a fair number of you folks but I have rethought this issue and you get to read about it.
    First off don’t mistake thinking I am anything even approaching a leftie, liberal, socialist, communist, democrat uninformed nut. Personally I think Obama is the worst thing that has happened to this country and the biggest deterrent to freedom in my lifetime (60 years). Having said that. I certainly understand the anger over the AK ban however consider this: 1. Obama does not have a clue. He is a mouth piece for the Soros /Bloomberg crowd. 2. Obama was not about to go to war with Russia over the invasion of the Ukraine nor should he. 3. Putting sanctions in place at least gives the appearance that he is doing something and we know the left is all about appearances. 4. Obama was not about to put a freeze on Russian products and specifically leave out AKs. That actually would be dumb. 5. If we never see another Russian made AK in this country we will be just fine. 6. If I’m not mistaken I believe I just read the Russia wants to start building AKs here.
    Personally I buy American Made Guns Anyway but if the big O banned guns manufactured in a “friendly” nation I could see a problem.
    Our concern is 2A, The Right to Bear Arms. It is not the right to purchase Russian made guns. We need to pick our battles carefully and fight them well and we aren’t even doing that.

    1. Mr. “Mc Ruger” convincingly steers attention away from the grandstanding. He offers some hearty “food for thought”, and it would behoove us all if his remarks received our collective consideration !

      WELL said “Mc Ruger”.

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