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I think it has to do with the "voluntary restraint agreement" between Russia and the US. Only firearms on an approved list can be imported to the US. Most things military and autoloading are not seen as "sporting" enough.

I tried searching for the actual list, but am having a difficult time finding it.
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Here is it:

RUSSIA AGREEMENT ON FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION
AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION ON EXPORTS OF FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION FROM THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation, hereinafter referred to as the "Parties,"

In the context of removing a number of existing restrictions on the importation into the United States of firearms and ammunition from the Russian Federation;

Recognizing the foreign policy interest of the Parties in expanding trade in firearms and ammunition between the, United States and the Russian Federation in a manner compatible with domestic security;

Recognizing the intention of the United States of America that United States policy with respect to access to the United States market for firearms and ammunition be applied in a nondiscriminatory manner to all of its trading partners;


Wishing to promote trade and cooperation on an equal and mutually beneficial basis between the United States and the Russian Federation and to expand economic opportunities in the two countries;


Have agreed as follows:

Article 1: Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this Agreement:

(a) "Ammunition" means any ammunition, cartridge case, primer, bullet, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm.


(b) "Firearm" means any nonautomatic, semiautomatic, or automatic firearm, to caliber .50 (12.7 mm) inclusive other than a shotgun, or any component or part for such firearm.

(c) "New model ammunition" means a type of ammunition the manufacture of which began after February 9, 1996,

(d) "New model firearm" means a type of firearm the manufacture of which began after February 9, 1996.

Article 2: Firearms and Ammunition Export Prohibitions.

The Government of the Russian Federation shall not allow the exportation from the Russian Federation, destined to the United States, of the following firearms and ammunition:

(a) any firearm, including any new model firearm, except a firearm described in Annex A to this Agreement;

(b) ammunition described in Annex B to this Agreement; and

(c) new model ammunition.

Article 3: Consultations.

(a) Each Party shall provide to the other Party, on request, information necessary for the implementation and enforcement of this Agreement. A Party shall keep confidential all information received from the other Party that is designated by the providing Party as confidential and shall not provide it to any other government or any private person without the providing Party's written consent.

(b) The Parties agree to consult promptly, not later than 30 days after receipt of a request from either Party, regarding any matter concerning this Agreement.

(c) At any time, either Party may propose that a firearm be added to or deleted from Annex A or that ammunition be added to or deleted from Annex B. The Parties shall consult promptly regarding such a proposal and may amend either Annex by written agreement of the Parties.

(d) Where a question arises as to whether a particular firearm or ammunition is subject to the export prohibition in Article 2, the Parties shall consult promptly. The firearm or ammunition shall be subject to the export prohibition pending resolution of the matter.

Article 4: Construction.

Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to affect the applicability to firearms, ammunition, or other products of the laws and regulations of the United States or the Russian Federation imposing restrictions or requirements on importation.

Article 5: Actions to Ensure the Effectiveness of this Agreement.

Either Party may take any action, as provided in its laws and regulations, necessary to ensure the effectiveness of this Agreement.

Article 6: Emergency Actions.

If the Government of the United States determines that the actual or prospective importation of any firearm described in Annex A or ammunition other than that described in Annex B is causing or threatens to cause damage to the domestic security of the United States, the Government of the United States reserves the right to take any measure it deems appropriate consistent with the Agreement on Trade Relations, signed between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America at Washington on June 1, 1990, as amended, brought into force between the United States of America and the Russian Federation pursuant to an exchange of notes on June 17, 1992. The Government of the United States shall consult with the Government of the Russian Federation prior to taking any such measure. If prior and prompt consultations are not possible because of an emergency situation, the Government of the United States shall consult with the Government of the Russian Federation as soon as possible after taking the measure.

Article 7: Amendments.

This Agreement may be amended by written agreement of the Parties.

Article 8: No Effect on Articles in U.S. Customs Territory.

This Agreement shall not affect the fulfillment of contracts with respect to firearms or ammunition entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption in the United States on or before February 9, 1996.

Article 9: Annexes; Entry into Force; Termination.

(a) The Annexes to this Agreement are an integral part of this Agreement.

(b) This Agreement shall enter into force upon the date of its signature by both

(c) Either Party may terminate this Agreement by providing written notification to the other Party at least twelve months prior to the date of termination.




Done at Washington on April 3, 1996, in duplicate, in the English and Russian languages, both texts being equally authentic.


/S/ /S/

For the Government of the For the Government of the
United States of America Russian Federation






ANNEX A
Firearms Permitted to Be Imported into the United States from the Russian Federation
Pistols/Revolvers
1. German Model P08 Pistol
2. IZH 34M, .22 caliber Target Pistol
3. IZH 3 5M, .22 caliber Target Pistol
4. Mauser Model 1896 Pistol
5. MC-57-1 Pistol
6. MC-1-5 Pistol
7. Polish Vis Model 35 Pistol
8. Soviet Nagant Revolver
9. TOZ 35,.22 caliber Target Pistol
Rifles
1. BARS-4 Bolt Action Carbine
2. Biathlon Target Rifle, .22LR caliber
3. British Enfield Rifle
4. CM2,.22 caliber Target Rifle (also known as SM2,.22 caliber)
5. German Model 98K Rifle
6. German Model G41 Rifle
7. German Model G43 Rifle
8. IZH-94
9. LOS-7 Bolt Action Rifle
10. MC-7-07
11. MC-18-3
12. MC-19-07
13. MC-105-01
14. MC-112-02
15. MC-113-02
16. MC-115-1
17. MC-125/127
18. MC-126
19. MC-128
20. Saiga Rifle
21. Soviet Model 38 Carbine
22. Soviet Model 44 Carbine
23. Soviet Model 91/30 Rifle
24. TOZ 18,.22 caliber Bolt Action Rifle
25. TOZ 55
26. TOZ 78
27. Ural Target Rifle, .22LR caliber
28. VEPR Rifle
29. Winchester Model 1895, Russian Model Rifle



ANNEX B

Ammunition Prohibited from Being Imported
into the United States from the Russian Federation



1. 7.62X25mm caliber (also known as 7.63X25 mm caliber or.30 Mauser)
 
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