Leave it to Obama to sneak his gun control agenda into the Ukraine crisis. As you may have heard, the president has issued some incredibly weak sanctions against Russia for its efforts to annex Crimea from the Ukraine. What you may not have known is, these sanctions also give Obama the power to stop the importation of many popular Russian firearms and ammunition.
According to whithouse.gov, the executive order Obama signed on Monday gives him the authority to impose trade sanctions upon Russia without Congressional approval:
This new authority expands upon E.O. 13660, which the President signed less than two weeks ago, by authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on named officials of the Russian government, any individual or entity that operates in the Russian arms industry, and any designated individual or entity that acts on behalf of, or that provides material or other support to, any senior Russian government official. (my emphasis added)
In other words, Obama can stop the importation of Russian-made firearms and ammunition for the consumer market. That means that popular guns like AK-47 variants and Saiga shotguns will more than likely no longer be available on the shelves of American gun stores.
As bad, or worse in my opinion, will be the drying up of inexpensive Russian ammo like TulAmmo, Wolf, and Brown Bear. My days of a cheap day at the range, blasting through a half-case of 7.62, look to be numbered. At around 20 cents a round, Russian-made ammo is a hell of a lot more affordable than $1.50 a round for Remington 7.62×39.
For those of you that think I’m overacting to some words slipped into a presidential EO, understand this: Obama has the ability to freeze the assets of any entity or individual that operates in the Russian arms industry. Saigas, Veprs, and AK-variants are made by the Russian arms industry and imported to the US. Assets are things like containers full of guns or ammo. They are also things like money US importers send to Russia to pay for guns and ammo.
The EO isn’t a direct ban, but if all money and merchandise can be seized and/or frozen, no business on either side of the Atlantic is going to risk being a part of the Russian gun importation process. Hence, it is a virtual ban on guns in common use.
That brings us back to Obama’s secret war on the 2nd Amendment. These sanctions are a joke that will do nothing to deter Russia’s ambitions in Crimea. Critics have called them a slap on the wrist, but they are more like slapstick comedy. There is no reason for the sanctions, nor any hope that they will achieve meaningful political gains. The only thing I can see coming out of this is Obama’s ability to chip away at gun ownership in America.
The other offshoot of this will be another Obama-induced gun buying frenzy. Look for a Russian-made guns and ammo panic-buy to start kicking in immediately. It’s hard to believe the president isn’t on the payroll of the gun industry the way he gets so many Americans to purchase firearms.