By: José Niño

Popular ammo brands from abroad will likely be subject to new restrictions coming from the Biden administration.

The U.S. State Department released a fact sheet earlier this month revealing the prohibition of Russian firearms and ammunition imports for a minimum of 12 months starting on September 7, 2021.

The State Department’s statement read as follows:

1. Restrictions on the permanent imports of certain Russian firearms. New and pending permit applications for the permanent importation of firearms and ammunition manufactured or located in Russia will be subject to a policy of denial.

There are caveats. American firearms companies who currently possess permits to import firearms and ammunition produced in Russia can maintain their regular operations for the time being, however, no new permits will be issued, even permits that are currently being processed.

Similarly, Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms noted that, “If [American firearms companies’] current permits expire while the sanctions are in place, they won’t be able to renew them.”

Edwards expanded on what these new sanctions would do to gun owners:

In the short term, not much will change for most gun owners. Cheap (at least relatively so) Russian ammo like Tulammo should still be available for sale here in the U.S., but as time goes on and existing permits expire gun owners will feel the effects of these particular sanctions, and far more than the Russians will. The sanctions are scheduled to last for twelve months, but could also be extended by the Biden administration instead of being allowed to expire.

The State Department’s actions were implemented according to the Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW) Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991. These sanctions came in light of the Russian government allegedly poisoning Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny with the chemical agent “Novichok.”

Aidan Johnston, Gun Owners of America’s Director of Federal Affairs, criticized the Biden administration’s recent move in a statement released on August 21, 2021:

Gun Owners of America is aware of the Biden State Department’s Notice that ‘[n]ew and pending permit applications for the permanent importation of firearms and ammunition manufactured or located in Russia will be subject to a policy of denial.’

We recognize the devastating implications these sanctions would have on individual gun owners amidst a national ammunition shortage. We are currently exploring administrative, congressional, and legal avenues to respond to these new sanctions.

Once again, the Biden Administration’s actions are misplaced. Ending imports by licensed importers will not stop drug dealers, murderers and other assorted street criminals.

It will, however, harm legitimate US businesses while driving up the cost of other ammunition due to more buyers chasing a smaller supply. It is clear to us that the intention is not to harm Russia but rather to hinder the acquisition of firearms and ammunition by American citizens.

Russian-made firearms and ammo remain popular in the American market. The Biden administration’s recent sanctions on Russian arms and ammo do have a geopolitical undertone in that the Democratic wing of the national security establishment is looking for every way possible to stick it to Russia.

In this case, though, many lawful Americans who buy Russian arms and use them for legitimate activity end up being deprived of firearms options on the market. This type of collateral damage means nothing to the ruling class in DC though. They view the Second Amendment as an illegitimate concept and uses every possible opportunity to deprive Americans of the ability to defend themselves.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.

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