As part of the sanctions against Russia over the slow, careful invasion of Ukraine, the United States has stopped certain Russian imports. Apparently those prohibited Russian imports include a particular model of Russian rifle, the "Avtomat Kalashnikova", originally made in 1947 and still in use today, worldwide.
It's better know as the AK-47.
You can imagine exactly what happens next.
Thirty-six hours after the Obama administration banned importation of the classic brand of AK-47 assault rifles as part of sanctions against Russia, a Maryland dealer specializing in the weapon took stock of its inventory.
There was nothing left.
Laboring almost nonstop, workers at Atlantic Firearms in Bishopville, a Worcester County community on the Eastern Shore, had shipped hundreds of Russian-made AK-47s — an assault rifle prized by both consumers and despots — as buyers wiped out gun dealers’ inventories around the country. The frenzy was brought on, in part, by a suspicion among some gun ownersthat the Russia-Ukraine conflict was a backdoor excuse to ban guns many Democrats don’t like. Some customers bought eight to 10 rifles for nearly $1,000 each or more, stockpiling them as investments.
“The gun community moved very, very quickly,” said Blaine Bunting, president of Atlantic Firearms. “I don’t see this ban going away.”
It's almost like they were ready for it. But what happens when you can no longer legally get the most popular rifle on Earth in the US?
While gun control advocates fret about the secondary market sales, gun stores and dealers are beginning to worry about the long-term implications of these buying frenzies. Seeing sales go up 200 percent in an instant is a nice jolt to the bottom line, but if it’s a sign that the pro-gun community might be losing the longer war, that’s not so good.
“Yes, Obama is the world’s best gun salesman,” said Tyler Whidby, the owner of TW Firearms in Leesburg , Va., which still has some Russian-made AK-47s on its shelves. “Every two to four months, somebody says something about gun control, and people turn around to get a gun.”
Another Democrat in the White House, such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, would “financially benefit us in the short term,” Whidby said. But in the long term, “it might put us out of business.”
So how much pressure will the NRA start putting on Congress to lift sanctions against Russia? We're about to find out.