Kalashnikov USA is building a factory in Florida where it will pump out new AK-47s for availability in the United States now that the company has cut ties with its parent company in Russia, reported the website ForeignPolicy.com on Thursday.
Currently located in Tullytown, Pennsylvania, Kalashnikov USA was created by the Russian defense company Kalashnikov Concern so it could import its popular AK-47 and other weapons into the United States, noted ForeignPolicy.com.
That production was disrupted when the Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014 after the country annexed Crimea from the Ukraine, according to CNN Money. The move forced Kalashnikov USA to end its relationship with Kalashnikov Concern.
Kalashnikov USA spokeswoman Laura Burgess said the move to Pompano Beach was in the works but it was accelerated by the administration’s actions, noted ForeignPolicy.com.
“We are very excited to debut the new Kalashnikov USA products,” said a statement on the Kalashnikov website. “Since the imposition of sanctions against Concern Kalashnikov in Russia on July 16, 2014, we are working to transform our company and staff from an importer and 922(r) compliant conversion specialist, to a full-fledged manufacturer. We are very proud of the results shown in the following pages and we hope you will appreciate our efforts.”
CNN Money said Kalashnikov USA’s recasting included introducing a new line of rifles and shotguns at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s annual conference in Las Vegas last week.
Kalashnikov USA won “light manufacturing” approval from Pompano Beach officials last July, noted CNN Money.
Burgess told ForeignPolicy.com that Kalashnikov USA plans to be up and running in the second quarter of 2016 but she did not know how many people the weapons company plans to hire at its new Florida location or how many guns it will produce.
The AK-47 has been in use around the world since 1947 and its easy use and price has made it a favorite among militaries and armed resistances.