On the Brink of a Deeper Ammo Shortage

Updated: Jan 13

In light of the recent second-round sanction against the Russian Federation, importation of Russian-origin guns and ammo will be subject to a policy of denial. This sanction, grounding from the CBW Act, stems from the attack on Alexei Navalny. With 40% of ammo coming from Russia, this will change things dramatically.

If you are not familiar with Alexei Navalny, he is the leader of the Russia of the future party. Formerly known as the people's alliance, Russia of the future is an organization, whose platform focuses on decentralization of power in the government. Navalny himself is publicly known as an opposition leader. Originally a lawyer, his eminence began in 2008, after writing an article that exposed corruption in Russian politics. Since he has continued to pursue a political-based career, campaigning, holding huge rallies, and gather a very large social media presence. Being an enemy of the current government, he has been continuously attacked both physically and through legal measures.

On August 20 of last year, he fell ill and eventually into a coma whilst on a flight from Siberia to Moscow. It later came out that this was caused in reaction to Russia’s exclusive Novichok. Well regarded as the deadliest nerve agent poison ever made. This made for the fifth case of an attack that involved the poison.

Navalny did end up surviving after 3 weeks in a coma, but in response to the onslaught, then President Trump issued executive order following H.R. 3409, the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act). This prohibited U.S. Banks from lending non-ruble denominated funds to the Russian sovereign.

Now, almost a year later, President Biden pursued the second round of sanctions on the matter. The sanction having been released on the 20th, will go officially go into effect on September 7th. However, as form 6’s (Application and Permit for Importation of Firearms, Ammunition, and Implements of War) take about 6 weeks to get approved, it is an unlikely case there will be any possibility for last-minute rushed approvals. Unless the ATF makes some expedited approvals before the September 7th deadline, all we will have already coming in will be the last. At least for the next 12 months, when it will then have an opportunity to be lifted.

With previous restrictions already placed on Russian-origin firearms, the vast part of this sanction lays on ammunition. That being said, we still have yet to receive the shipments that have already been approved, but it is not going to last long. As I went to a local ammunition shop to ask about the matter, they said they sold out of all their Russian ammo within days. According to Charles Brown of MKS Supply, one of the largest importers of ammo in the US, he stated that about 40 percent of our ammo originates from Russian sources.

With wolf, Tula, and Barnaul being the major brands that will be affected, I believe we will be seeing the biggest impact on the rifle side of things. More specifically the steel cased ammo, most popular in 7.62x39. As these last shipments start coming in, I will be surprised if they last more than a couple of days.