The importer of Russian Kalashnikov rifles in US, RWC, has claimed to start manufacturing the AK-47 guns in the USA, CNN Money reported yesterday.
The importing of the AK-47 gun in US was stopped after it imposed sanctions in July against Russia. The US made gun will have same name as the original: AK-47, arguably the most ubiquitous assault rifle in the world.
"We are not permitted to pick up the phone and to talk to them," he said. "We were forced to stop doing business with them because of the sanctions," Thomas McCrossin CEO of RWC is quoted as saying by CNN Money.
"I have a lot of inventory on my shelf bought and paid for," McCrossin told CNNMoney in Las Vegas at the annual gun industry show. "We are permitted to sell these weapons because they were already in the US. But when the inventory goes down to zero, there are no more."
RWC, based in Tullytown, Pa is looking for a new location to set up a manufacturing unit once the present inventory goes down to zero.
"In the second quarter of this year we are going to start manufacturing here in the US," said McCrossin. "What I'm manufacturing are our own AK-47s and shotguns under the Kalashnikov brand."
Kalashnikov had sealed a deal to supply 200000 rifles a year in the US in January 2014 before US stuck sanctions in July.
"The US was a key market for us, one that we planned to develop," the official was quoted as saying to BBC.
"It's a big loss, there's no point saying otherwise." There are now some 200 models of Kalashnikov, still produced at the original factory in Izhevsk, two hours' flight east of Moscow.
The plant used to manufacture around 600,000 rifles a year for the military during USSR. Last year it turned out one tenth of that number and 80% were civilian firearms.