In a press conference earlier today, the President announced new sanctions to be imposed against those deemed responsible and also providing support for the current crisis in the Crimea.
The President stated:
Today, I’m announcing a series of measures that will continue to increase the cost on Russia and on those responsible for what is happening in Ukraine. First, as authorized by the executive order I signed two weeks ago, we are imposing sanctions on specific individuals responsible for undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity and government of Ukraine. We’re making it clear that there are consequences for their actions.
Second, I have signed a new executive order that expands the scope of our sanctions. As an initial step, I’m authorizing sanctions on Russian officials — entities operating in the arms sector in Russia and individuals who provide material support to senior officials of the Russian government. And if Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, we stand ready to impose further sanctions.
Now that’s bound to cause a lot of potential confusion and concern. However, let’s first take look at the text of the new Executive Order that might be most germane to firearms owners (and which has been bolded).
Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person (including any foreign branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:
(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order; and
(ii) persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:
(A) to be an official of the Government of the Russian Federation; (B) to operate in the arms or related materiel sector in the Russian Federation;(C) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly: (1) a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation; or (2) a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or (D) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of: (1) a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation; or (2) a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
This is then followed with another paragraph that specifically calls back to Section B (the arms section), the text of which reads:
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in
regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.
The text seems to indicate that anything that has already been granted a licence or permit for importation will still be allowed in. At the moment, it’s important to realize that the sanctions against the Russian arms industry are being imposed at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury, along with the Secretary of State, so a clear cut guide is not available. Firearms Industry Consulting Group will further analyze these sanctions and their implementation in the coming days and weeks on this blog.
For the moment, we just wanted to give our readers access to the direct text on the matter, so they would not be forced to simply have to read hearsay and uniformed opinions on the issue.