Let’s take a break from the chaos in Afghanistan to discuss what the Biden administration just did that could impact law-abiding Americans’ access to ammunition. We’re already being pinched. The price of copper has reached historic highs. Stephen Gutowski of The Reload has been covering this story noting that we might not see some calibers, like 9MM and .223/.556 ammunition readily available for up to two years. Yes, the Biden administration’s anti-gun agenda is impacting the situation, but the COVID pandemic saw nine million Americans become first-time gun owners. The latter part is a good thing, but increased demand, coupled with a White House that’s antagonistic towards Second Amendment rights and the price of materials has pinched the market. Now, the latest sanctions on Russian arms could compound the issues centering on access to ammunition. Our own Cam Edwards said that one should now worry…for now. After a couple of years, however, it’s a different story.
Here’s the portion of the new sanctions Edwards highlighted, pursuant of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.
“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.”
Edwards’ take (via Bearing Arms):
The Biden administration imposed new sanctions on several Russian nationals and businesses on Friday in the latest response to the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny in August of 2020.
I’ve seen a lot of folks on social media say that this is a total ban on the importation of Russian ammunition (and many folks ignoring the word “firearms” in there as well), but I don’t read it that way. It looks to me that those U.S. companies that are currently permitted to import arms and ammunition manufactured in Russia can continue their operations as normal (at least for now), but no new permits will be issued, including those that are already in the pipeline.
If, however, their current permits expire while the sanctions are in place, they won’t be able to renew them. Late Friday, The Reload’s Stephen Gutowski reported that it could be up to two years for some companies, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t distributors whose permits could expire long before then. According to Gutowski’s report, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is also investigating if the new sanctions will also “deny imports of popular collectible firearms like the Mosin-Nagant,” and are trying to get some answers from Customs and Border Patrol about how the agency plans to address the issue.
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, and my guess is they’re not going away as long as Biden (and Putin) are in charge. We could also see another round of more expansive sanctions which we’ll get to in just a moment.
Edwards added that more sanctions with immediate effect could occur, but this is a “slow burn.” Still, the fuse is set and when it reaches the powder keg—the result will be more restrictions on access to ammunition.
Sources: TownHall: Did Biden Just Cut Off Ammo Supply to Law-Abiding Americans?