If you haven’t heard, the Treasury Department has released the latest round of sanctions against Russia for its activities in Ukraine, and some Second Amendment advocates are suspicious, to say the least.
Earlier today, the Department of Commerce announced new sanctions against Russian products and companies operating in the United States. Previous sanctions only tangentially impacted the import of cheap and reliable firearms from Russia into the United States, but now the Obama administration is specifically targeting the makers of Saiga rifles and shotguns, as well as other companies.
There’s going to be a lot of information out there in the next few days, so let’s get a few facts out of the way.
This is not in any way, shape or form an assault on your Second Amendment rights. The sanctions impact companies, banks and entities that have been supporting Ukrainian separatists and destabilizing the region.
The U.S. moves to impose restrictions on the Russian state-controlled oil giant OAO Rosneft and other top firms are aimed at squeezing Russia’s already struggling economy and financial system. They followed weeks of U.S. threats that Russia would face repercussions unless it helped defuse the crisis in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian government for months.
The sanctions stop well short of crimping international business ties or blocking deals with entire sectors of the Russian economy.
The U.S. and Europe say separatists in Ukraine are getting significant support from Russia, an accusation Moscow has denied.
And yes, the U.S. government has plenty of information confirming Russian involvement, funding and support of Ukrainian separatists. These entities include the Russian firearms company Kalashnikov, as well as Almaz-Antey, Uralvagonzavod, Novatek and several banks.
Is this an attempt to limit imports of firearms in the United States? Absolutely not.
This is an attempt to cut off companies and entities that are involved in destabilizing Ukraine off from the U.S. financial system and punish them for their actions.
This means that U.S. companies and individuals can do no further business with the sanctioned entities. No. Further. Business.
That means the AKs that you love so much that are already here in the stores are perfectly legal to buy and sell – UNLESS the store still owes money to Kalashnikov for an order. You can still buy, sell, trade, whatever your AK or your Izmash-produced firearms. What you are NOT allowed to do is start new business with these companies.
Given the number of other companies that produce inexpensive AK-like and other firearms, this really shouldn’t affect your everyday right to keep and bear arms.
Is this an indefinite ban on imports of AKs and other inexpensive firearms? The sanctions will stay in place until the illegal activities cease. Some Second Amendment advocates claim once the government implements these sanctions, they will continue, because BAN! That’s not true. OFAC has de-listed a myriad of different companies and entities once they’re deemed to no longer be involved in illegal activities, or with a successful appeal.
This is all about Russia’s activities in Eastern Europe, and it has nothing to do with our right to keep and bear arms.
A list of frequently asked questions is here.
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]
There are other answers that may be of concern to gun owners as well. Please go read the release closely and understand it. Misinformation helps no one.