No, Joe Biden Didn’t Just Ban Russian Ammo (At Least Not Yet)

Is Russian ammo about to disappear? Maybe.

The gun blogosphere and corresponding YouTube ecosystem erupted over the weekend with reports that Joe Biden had banned Russian ammunition and firearms. Headlines exclaimed that Russian gun products will “Go the Way of the Dodo,” and gun pundits (or “gundits”) worried that the banning of Russian ammunition would cause prices of all other ammunition to skyrocket.

Thanks to this coverage, gun owners have already descended on both physical and online gun stores in a rush to secure their cases of Russian ammo before it all runs out for good. Prices have, predictably, risen.

It’s true that Joe Biden’s State Department has levied sanctions against “firearms and ammunition manufactured or located in Russia.” These sanctions will apply for at least the next 12 months, and it’s unclear whether Russia will capitulate to get the sanctions removed.

But hyperbolic headlines lack context, and in many of the articles on this topic, authors explain only in later paragraphs that these sanctions only apply to “new and pending” import applications received after September 7, 2021.

SEE ALSO: Get Back to the Range! Ammo Prices Dropping

In other words, import applications that are currently approved will be honored after the deadline and companies will have the opportunity to submit new applications until that point.

Mark Oliva of the National Shooting Sports Foundation told us that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives will continue accepting Form 6’s (what companies submit when they want to import firearms or ammunition) until September 7 and all those approved before then will remain in effect.

“That seems to indicate that those imports will continue for two years when those already approved will expire. Concerns about overnight shortages of imported ammunition on September 8 will be more attributable to a consumer rush on ammunition than turning off the spigot,” Oliva said.

It’s unclear when the big Russian importers’ Form 6’s will expire. It could be sooner than two years, or it may not be until 2023. Form 6 also asks applicants to list the number of cartridges they would like to import, and no one knows whether Russian ammo companies have already run through most of their approved ammunition or whether they still have millions of rounds left to import.

SEE ALSO: Clay Discusses Cheap Ammo: Is It Worth It?

Of course, the longer these sanctions remain in place, the worse the situation becomes. If Russian importers sell through their supplies and aren’t approved to import any more, American gun owners will be SOL.

Importers are understandably worried. MKS Supply told Guns & Ammo that they’re “still trying to get a grasp” how these sanctions will affect them and that the “several million rounds” of ammunition they have the approval to import will “go very fast.”

This move by Biden’s State Department may well be an underhanded ploy to keep American gun owners from accessing cheap ammunition. If nothing changes in the next two years, that’s exactly what will happen.

But Russian ammunition will continue to be imported and sold for many months, possibly even years, to come. At least, it will be unless panic buyers run through the supplies between now and September 7.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Big Al 45 September 1, 2021, 11:55 am

    ‘Gunnies’ have often been their own worst enemy.

  • Jeff Yates August 28, 2021, 10:45 am

    Thank you for this article, like so many others I fell for the panicky rhetoric. There is enough misinformation and half-reporting going on in the mainstream media. We (conservatives) need to manage our message better than them!

  • KMacK August 27, 2021, 1:25 pm

    So essentially the restriction only applies to new apps for import – existing ones remain the same. This will not stop panic buying though (what a bunch of “old women” some shooters are, startling at shadows and dust bunnies…)
    Russian ammunition is decent ammo, if a bit dirty in some calibers. Sellier and Bellot isn’t Russian and it sells for about the same price (or it DID…) and they don’t use steel cases or cartridges, so you can shoot at the local “No Steel cases” range and you can reload the cartridges – a few times. I average about four reloadings before recycling the brass. (And their 9mm Makarov is cheaper than the Russian make too and reloads as well.)
    So, a big MEH. Prices will (are going to) rise, that’s a given. Will it impact how we shoot? Not really. You don’t need six boxes of ammo to keep your “aim” working, honestly. So you shoot a bit less and focus a bit more…is this a bad thing? Besides, who doesn’t keep a few months worth of bang-pills in stock? Really, they aren’t that expensive if you buy in bulk and they don’t go bad in storage.
    And you could always invest in reloading…it’s cheaper and rather fun, adjusting your bang-pills to your specific firearm.
    So not to worry. Affordable ammo remains once the panic-buyers make the retailers richer, it’ll go back to lower prices. And reloading supplies won’t change in price at all (hint hint hint)

  • Kane August 27, 2021, 10:11 am

    China, Brazil, Russia et cetera will form a bloc of nations that will unleash economic sanctions on the US. Globlists have sold off US economic and tech superiority year ago and now Dr. Frankenstein will be destroyed by the monster he has made or the torch carrying Americans left alive.

    A quote that has been attributed to Vladmir Lenin goes somthing like ‘a Capitalist will sell you the rope you hang him with.’ Wille Jeff Klinton and the US legislative branch come to mind with the MFN for China and the great tech give away. Globalists at the top of the pyramid understand that the destruction of mankind is their hidden agenda.

    BTW, from what I have read, Russian vital infrastructure is old tech hack proof. I have never dispised anyone calling themself a US President more than I do that cheating, weak, corrupt immoral swine, Joe Biden

  • L Gonzalez August 27, 2021, 9:36 am

    Excuse me! What happened to BUY AMERICA? I would rather pay more to support America than Russia! Hello! Is anyone listening?

    • Kane August 27, 2021, 10:13 am

      The lead mines have been shut down in the USA. I support fair trade NOT free trade.

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