In an effort to punish Russia for its meddlesome involvement in Ukraine, the Obama administration announced on Wednesday a new round of sanctions that target banks, energy and defense companies, including Russian arms manufacturers.

“We live in a complex world and at a challenging time,” said president Obama from the White House. “And none of these challenges lend themselves to quick or easy solutions, but all of them require American leadership. And as commander in chief, I’m confident that if we stay patient and determined, that we will, in fact, meet these challenges.”

“I have repeatedly made it clear that Russia must halt the flow of weapons and fighters across the border into Ukraine,” Obama continued. “I have made this clear directly to [Russian President] Putin.”

Most strikingly, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added the Kalashnikov Concern (formerly known as Izhmash), manufacturer of the world famous AK-47 and the popular line of Saiga rifles and shotguns, to the Specially Designated Nationals List, banning the importation of all of its products into the United States indefinitely.

Considering that as of 2012 about 70 percent of the Saiga line is sold to the civilian market, 40 percent of which is exported to the U.S., one can argue that this is quite a blow to the arms manufacturer.

The move also raises questions for current and prospective owners of the newly sanctioned firearms about transferring them and obtaining them in the U.S. To help eliminate some of the confusion, the OFAC included the following entries under its Frequently Asked Questions page:

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]

375. If I have Kalashnikov products in my inventory, can I sell them?

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]

Thankfully, for gun owners, Kalashnikov is not the only maker of civilian-grade AK-47 rifles (for example, the Bulgarian-based Arsenal makes a quality AK), though it is the flagship brand. Moving forward, those in the market for Izhmash guns will likely see a spike in price as quantity diminishes and demand remains constant.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on horseback (Photo: Alexsey Druginyn/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on horseback (Photo: Alexsey Druginyn/AFP/Getty Images)

Of course, this whole sanction-business could end if Obama repairs the fraught relationship between mother Russia and the U.S. Much of the consternation between the two has to do with Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and its ongoing support of pro-Russian insurgents throughout the rest of the country, not to mention the fact that Putin has a penchant to test the patience and the will of the White House whenever he can.

One can argue that until the U.S. decides to really play hardball with Putin, who responded to the sanctions as if they were totally unwarranted, they can expect the Russian president to continue to play these cat and mouse games.

“I have already said they tend to have a boomerang effect, and without any doubt, in this case they are driving Russian-American relations to an impasse, causing very serious damage,” Putin said late Wednesday, according to a Kremlin transcript obtained by the New York Times. “And I am convinced that this is harmful to the national long-term strategic interests of the American state, the American people.”

Though, he did leave the door open to a resolution to the strife, but skeptics might argue that it’s just more empty rhetoric, more caginess, more of Putin being Putin.

“It is a pity that our partners are going on this way, but we have not closed the door to negotiations, to resolve this situation,” he said.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • JR September 26, 2016, 1:18 pm

    Let’s accept that Obama doesn’t care about this country. That’s what is causes all executive orders. I can’t quite figure out what he is trying to do except for disarming all normal citizens. He really is an idoit.

  • Edward August 20, 2015, 7:03 am

    I think the passing comment in the article “Of course, this whole sanction-business could end if Obama repairs the fraught relationship between mother Russia and the U.S,” shows a surprising lack of clarity on the international issues involved as well as a clumsy (at best) attempt to politically disparage the President. The United States has been faced with a situation very similar to that faced by the western European nations in the late 1930’s when Germany demanded annexation of the German-speaking people in the Czechoslovakian Sedetenland. The options of response were acceptance of the annexation, international condemnation with economic sanctions or war. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain accepted the first option, which as we know only emboldened the Germans to be more aggressive, for which Chamberlain has been soundly reviled.
    The American option of condemning the action while applying economic sanctions is to be commended rather than being disparaged by the author. It could hopefully contain further Russian aggression from an asshole like Putin and avoid a situation where 19 and 20-year old American service men and women are asked to go in harm’s way.
    In the meantime there are plenty of sources for AK’s, if you want one.
    The author should stick to talking about guns and avoid international policy.

  • scarface July 23, 2014, 12:30 am

    Backdoor gun control.Will not work on normal Americans. Putin is laughing and already authorized the changing of his AK maker’s name to skirt the fatherless bastard’s so called executive order.

  • CaliARgirl July 22, 2014, 9:50 pm

    Yes. Of course we all believe that this ban on Russian import firearms and ammo is just a sanction against Putin to punish him for the Ukraine invasion.
    It’s really just another one of his back-door attempts at once again pushing his own agenda against guns and the Constitutional rights of American citizens.

  • billyc July 22, 2014, 9:27 pm

    Know your history, his story! F.D.R. embargoed oil from Japan
    setting the stage for Pearl Harbour retaliation and anti-war Americas entrance
    into WWII. Legally, these executive orders are supposed to only be in force upon Govt. Departments, not on civilian companies except in times of war, and there is no war on that has been declared, just a line drawn that got crossed, a weak threat from the Kenyan Barry and now the retaliation of a cry-baby who couldnt get his way getting our Airforce to be Al Quedas/Al CIAduh airforce and bombing Syria! Apparently the WH supporting Al-CIAduh for murdering whole villages of centuries old Chrisitans and moderate Muslims wasnt enough for Barry who bragged he was ‘really good at’ drone killing innocent bystanders and children.

    Agreed, imports from other countries are another means to acquire them.
    Maybe we can import some of Kingpin Holders Fast n Furious guns for the Mexican Drug Cartels to kill U. S Border Patrol agents, Kalas back?

  • Joe G July 22, 2014, 7:07 pm

    Boy what a target that photo would make! Put one right between the man boobs for a 10!

  • Veronica Skov (Danish not Russian July 22, 2014, 6:34 pm

    Know your history Obama do what F.D.R. did when he arranged for A.V.G ( all volunteer group) in China ie Flying Tigers and kick Putin know any volunteers Lincoln Brigade?

  • Russ July 22, 2014, 5:55 pm

    Hey, is this a trick to make us buy more firearms and ammo from Guns America?
    Oh well, couldn’t hurt. ; )
    Buy all you can afford and then buy a some more.

  • Dogbiter July 22, 2014, 5:23 pm

    Hardnuts Putin doesn’t care about what Obama threatens to do. He looks upon Obama as an ineffective lowlife. Putin May respond to global pressure, but is not really concerned about presidential rhetoric from the U.S.. The only thing Putin completely understands is intimidation and aggression. KGB state of mind.

    • Winston July 24, 2014, 9:19 pm

      The US just restricted more free trade and Obama follows Bush I, II and Clinton in limiting your freedom to buy inexpensive ammo and other weapons. You are not tuned in well are you?

  • Dogbiter July 22, 2014, 5:13 pm

    Hardnuts Putin doesn’t care about what Obama has to say. He feels that Obamas threats are nothing to be really concerned about. To an extent he will react to global pressure, but generally looks upon Obama as an ineffective lowlife. Aggression and intimidation is what Putin understands best.

    • Winston July 24, 2014, 9:30 pm

      Advocating murder of a world leader eh dogbiter? You must be an American psycho.

  • MrE July 22, 2014, 9:56 am

    Russian ammo is next. by by silver bear.

  • T. Jefferson July 22, 2014, 9:34 am

    Still a dozen other countries that make and import them

    • Winston July 24, 2014, 9:28 pm

      No, the 1989 Bush I import ban restricted many imported semi auto rifles- only those AK- style rifles with US made ( mostly inferior ) “compliant” parts or US legal semi- auto conversions ( as in the Romanian WASR 10s ) conversions done by Century Arms mostly can be sold as new rifles. More freedoms taken by federal decrees. Wake up.

      • loupgarous December 24, 2017, 5:00 pm

        Century Arms and Palmetto State Armory make AK-47s out of 100-percent U.S.-made parts. No 922r hassles, and to be honest, Kalashnikov doesn’t deserve the business of American sportsmen as long as they’re part of Putin’s war machine.

        I never liked the Kalashnikov much, anyway – sure, a loose-machined action doesn’t have to be cleaned as often to work, but an AR-type puts bullets where you aim them more reliably.

  • nfafan July 22, 2014, 5:24 am

    Had to see this coming when Ukrain crisis began.

  • DrThunder88 July 22, 2014, 5:22 am

    What are the chances this gets rescinded when the crisis in Ukraine abates? Slim or nil?

  • Lying Bastard July 22, 2014, 2:53 am

    Silly Puttin. When he will realize that only the US is allowed to meddle in other countries (Iraq, Afganistan, etc)?

    • Russ July 22, 2014, 8:46 pm

      Admin didn’t like my 1st responce to your comment.
      So I’ll just be calm and say this about America; “Love it , or leave it”

      • gordon lehnert July 23, 2014, 5:00 pm

        Why should I leave my home country, which I fought for and have worked for ffoor over 50 years while the Pres. is stepping all over the Constitution and allowing tens of thousands of illegals in the contry, feeding them, clotthing them and letting them dissapear iinto the streets, never to be seen again until they are arrested. I will use my illegal gun which according the the Conststution I am allowed to do and defend my home until my last breath. Wake up , they are givving away our country. gordon lehnert

      • loupgarous December 24, 2017, 5:08 pm

        Russ, you said that three years ago. How do you feel now, that what was the President’s opposition party now runs the White House and holds majorities in both Houses of Congress?

        I only ask, because Hillary Clinton and her friends were saying “Dissent is Patriotic” when George W. Bush was President, but forgot all about that once Obama was elected. And there you were, three years ago, telling someone to leave the country because they resented Barack Obama’s contempt for the rule of law and the Constitution.

        Now, we have a Republican President again, and every basement dwelling-loudmouth rushed out to fill the streets protesting because they no longer had an elected dictator running the Executive branch of government.

        How’s that feel, by the way? Still saying “America – Love it or Leave it”?

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