BREAKING: Import of Kalashnikov Concern/Saiga AKs banned by executive order



According to a Presidential Executive Order issued Wednesday, the importation of AKs manufactured by the Kalashnikov Concern in Izhmash, Russia has been banned.

This includes the popular “Saiga” line of rifles and shotguns.

Mikhail Kalashnikov spent his life at the Izhmash firm.

The sanctions were taken because of Russia’s aggression toward the Ukraine. Russian banks and energy companies were also targeted.

To be clear, the executive order does not affect Izhmash or Saiga firearms already in this country. This is not an “assault weapons” ban. Instead, it halts the importation of firearms from the Izhmash-based firm.

The news was released without fanfare, when the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added Kalashnikov Concern and other Russian businesses to its “Specially Designated Nationals” or “SDN” sanctions list.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), according to its website, “administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. OFAC acts under Presidential national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze assets under US jurisdiction. Many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, are multilateral in scope, and involve close cooperation with allied governments.”

In essence, once the administration targets a foreign business or individual for sanctions, OFAC gets it done.

Once a foreign business or individual is added to OFAC’s SDN list, their “assets are blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.”

There is no appeal.

In a statement on their website issued early Thursday, Kalashnikov Concern noted that the sanctions will hurt U.S. consumers.

“It should be noted that the production of ‘Kalashnikov’ in the U.S. enjoys high demand, pre-order products civilian three times the annual volume of deliveries. Thus, taken in relation to ‘Kalashnikov’ sanctions the U.S. government go against the interests of American consumers,” the statement reads.

The firm is Russia’s “largest producer of automatic and sniper combat arms, guided artillery shells, as well as a wide range of civil products – shotguns, sporting rifles, machines and tools.”

It was founded in 1807, and exports arms and tools to 27 countries, including:  USA, UK, Germany, Norway, Italy, Canada, Kazakhstan and Thailand.


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. I seen this coming from a mile away. How can you sanction Russia without banning the import of their firearms. Its still troubling to here about this.

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  10. it should read these sanction were “taken because he can’t seem to get his way in congress” and not that they have anything to do with what is happening in the Ukraine.

  11. No problem, open a front company in the USA, manufacture 7 minor parts here, assemble weapons here, all done.

    Same thing every other company in the world did during the ‘assault weapons ban”…

    Pointless, inept, and impotent gesture we have come to expect form the most pointless, inept and impotent president in American History.

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  13. ralph newton on

    Guys hungry..Hasent been fed in a long while.Power is the most addictive and powerful drug on the planet,and POTUS is an addict..

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  16. “This is not an “assault weapons” ban.” Almost can not type this response, I am laughing so hard it is painfully hard to breathe!

    “I have a pen and a phone, I can do what I want.” Barack Obama

    This guy only regrets that Colt, Sig Arms, Bushmaster, et al., are not having their rifles coming out of Russia!

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