If the current ammunition shortage was not bad enough, prices may continue to rise after a recent move by the Biden administration.
According to a State Department news release from Aug. 20, a new round of sanctions is being imposed on Russia due to its utilization of a deadly “Novichok” chemical nerve agent. This nerve agent was used in the poisoning of Aleksey Navalny, a Russian opposition figure, in August 2020.
The sanctions are being imposed under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 and focus on imports and exports between the United States and Russia, according to the release.
The sanctions add additional restrictions to exports on missile-related and nuclear goods and technology, the release states.
In addition to the Department of Commerce export restrictions, the sanctions also impose “restrictions on the permanent imports of certain Russian firearms,” according to the release.
Furthermore, the release states that “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.”
According to the release, the sanctions will take effect once the Federal Register notice is published. This is expected to be Sept 7.
The sanctions “will remain in place for a minimum of 12 months” and they can “only be lifted after a 12-month period if the Executive Branch determines and certifies to Congress that Russia has met several conditions,” the release states.
According to the release, these conditions include Russia giving solid assurances: that it will not use chemical weapons, that it is not making preparations to use chemical weapons in the future, it allows international inspectors to certify these assurances and that the country provides restitution to Navalny.
According to a Free Range American report by freelance writer Tim Cooper, this news has already set off a rush to buy the affordable ammo both in stores and online.
Cooper quoted Charles Brown, owner of MKS Supply, an importer of Russian ammunition, as saying 30 to 40 percent of ammunition sold in the U.S. comes from Russia.
“In the short term, there is still plenty of Russian-made ammo to be had,” Brown told Cooper. “Imported orders have a four- to six-month lead time, so anything that’s already in the queue is exempt from the sanctions. However, that supply will dry up quickly, put even more pressure on U.S. companies and, undoubtedly, raise prices.”
Additionally, Gun Owners of America, a Second Amendment advocacy group, wrote on Twitter that it was exploring its options to respond to the new sanctions.
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.
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) August 21, 2021
The lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association, the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, responded to the announcement with its own release.
According to the NRA-ILA release, even though the policy appears to prohibit firearms and ammunition importation, firearms from Russia have been heavily restricted already from previous executive guidance. Therefore, it seems that the primary result of the new sanctions will be in restricting Russian-made ammunition, the release states.
The release states that while exports of ammunition are just a small percentage of the GDP of Russia, the ammo Russia sends makes up a sizeable portion of the total U.S. ammunition supply. So, who exactly is the sanction intended to hurt — the Russian economy or American citizens?
“American gun owners were already suffering from a market where demand was exceeding available supply. This new move by the Biden Administration will severely worsen the present supply problems,” the release states.
Maybe these sanctions really are being imposed as retribution against Russia and aren’t meant primarily as an attack on gun owners. Yet, knowing how adversarial this administration is toward gun rights, one can’t help but think that there are other viable options to punish the Russians without it negatively affecting law-abiding U.S. citizens.
According to the NRA-ILA release, it will take months to see what the full repercussions of these sanctions might be — however, one can reasonably assume that ammunition prices will increase, there will be more shortages of ammunition, and ultimately, fewer Americans will be able to exercise their fundamental Second Amendment rights.
“It may also result in the shuttering of American small businesses that rely heavily on the importation of Russian ammunition,” the release states. “All of this is of course by design for the Biden Administration.”
It makes sense that this would be an avenue the Biden administration would use to circumvent Congress and the Supreme Court in order to undercut Second Amendment rights.
The demand for ammunition will not go down, especially when the market is already struggling to keep shelves stocked with the ammunition that gun owners are after. Many stores are selling out as soon as they get new ammunition in, and it has been that way for quite a while now.
With the Biden administration cutting off a large part of the supply chain, it is very reasonable to expect prices will increasingly rise as the sanctions go into effect and ammunition becomes even more difficult to come by. Those lucky enough to find ammo will hoard more of it, and less ammunition will be available for many Americans seeking to exercise their gun rights.
Sure, President Joe Biden has no problem with the extreme violence overtaking many of our largest U.S. cities. And sure, the president has no worries about the risks posed by hundeds of thousands of illegal immigrants pouring over our southern border.
Biden is even fine with leaving billions of dollars worth of military weapons and equipment in the hands of the Taliban.
All that is fine for the Biden White House. What really needs to be addressed is those pesky law-abiding citizens and their desire to own firearms, have access to reasonably-priced ammo, and the opportunity to excercise their Second Amendment rights.
This administration has proven time and again that — despite what Biden claimed on the campaign trail — it will do whatever it can to circumvent Congress, the Supreme Court and the American people in order to carry out the Democrats’ left-wing agenda.
While most Americans probably support sanctioning Russia for its reprehensible attacks against political dissidents, it would seem that there is a way to punish them without impacting the rights of American citizens.
Unfortunately, this is likely among the first in many steps this administration takes to hinder the ability of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms — with an adequate supply of ammunition.
These adversarial actions will not cease or get better in the next three years — in fact, they will only get worse.
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