why exactly SARs are not allowed to be imported?


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phantomak47
March 24, 2005, 10:14 PM
I was thinking the other day about getting another sar and then I realized that they are not being imported. Can anyone link me to why they arent anymore?

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1911user
March 25, 2005, 12:13 AM
I think it had something to do with the way they were imported. Century Arms Inc (CAI) brought them into the US in a configuration not legal for importation per the 1989 922r law forbiding import of "assault weapons". Once they were "in country", ONLY THEN were they converted to "US made" or "not foreign made" rifles depending on how you view it. After 4 years or so the BATF decided that practice wasn't OK anymore and stopped the SAR flow. That is my understanding.


They actually replaced the gas piston, pistol grip, hammer, trigger, and disconnector with US-made parts of probable lower quality. That reduced the foreign parts count down to the magic 10 (or less) and they were no longer under import restriction.

If you want a decent cheaper AK and don't like the converted WASR offerings, I'd look for a chinease MAK-90 in good condition and change 5 or 6 parts to convert it to a pistol grip configuration.

NH AR Shooter
March 26, 2005, 03:12 AM
Quote:

why exactly SARs are not allowed to be imported?

I was thinking the other day about getting another sar and then I realized that they are not being imported. Can anyone link me to why they arent anymore?
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Its because the Romanians went up on price, the SARs would have been priced too high to for CAIs liking. Any story that the ATF stopped the import is BS, because the WASRs are no different from a legal standpoint. The SARs were entirely in compliance with 922r.

The Romanians have been increasingly difficult to do busness with, and some of the factories that previously made weapons are being converted to other more profitable use's. Still I hope we see more SARs or something that resembles them in 5.45x39 and in 5.56x45.

clange
March 26, 2005, 04:25 AM
Thats not true man. The SARs came from the factory with the ability to accept high cap mags, hence the dimples on the side of the mag well. CAI imported them and converted them in the US before sale. It was a gray area that wasnt really gray at all because they were still importing them in a configuration that cant be imported. According to the BATF at least, who put a stop to it. Now they import WASR-10s, which use a single stack 5 or 10 round mag. No high caps = no import ban. When they get to the US CAI adds US parts and cuts out the mag well. Arsenal INC does the same thing with rifles from bulgaria.

c_yeager
March 26, 2005, 04:58 AM
They are still legal to import. Century stopped bringing them in due to failed price negotiations with the Romanians. If someone else wanted to start up they could do so.

clange
March 26, 2005, 05:25 AM
I think at the very least, they'd have to have a thumbhole stock to be legally imported now. Before they were being imported with all romanian stocks. WASRs come in with the same stocks, except its legal because they dont accept high cap mags.

Maybe ROMARM wanted more for SARs then CAI was willing to pay, and CAI decided to go for the cheaper gun from ROMARM. Why would it be cheaper though if its nearly identical? I think its more plausible that they were forced to change how/what they import, and it was cheaper to have ROMARM start running them off single stack lines and have someone in the US cut out the mag well then it was to make/pay for thumbholes, then make/pay for another stock in the US.

Like i said, arsenal does the same thing on (some or all of?) their 'cheaper' SLRs. If it was prefectly legal to import rifles with pistol grips and high cap mags arsenal would be doing it, not messing around with low cap conversions.

Edit: If a SAR was legal to import, accepting high cap mags with a pistol grip, then you wouldnt need to do the parts count thing. The parts count is all about not creating (owning?) an imported rifle in a configuration that would be illegal to import. For example, a pistol grip low cap WASR-10 is an imported rifle with no US parts. This doesnt violate 922(r) because such a configuration is legal for importation. As soon as you convert it to accept high cap mags you would violate 922(r) because its an imported rifle in a configuration that is illegal for import. You have to get the number of imported parts down to 10 so its not considered an imported rifle. The fact that the parts count rule even applies to a SAR (or any other pistol grip AK that takes high cap mags) means they arent legal for importation.

NH AR Shooter
March 26, 2005, 02:19 PM
Clange, you are wrong on this. The converted WASR has exactly the same status as the SARs, with the substitution of american parts in the proper number, the gun is no longer considered to be imported.

A high cap SAR with the proper number of american parts is considered an american manufactured gun, by law, and is exempt from 922r. Change the parts back to Romanian, and you violate 922r.

I know for a fact that the ATF and the law had absolutly nothing to do with Century no longer importing the SARs.

MAKOwner
March 26, 2005, 05:51 PM
The price negotiations thing has been stated elsewhere and so far is the "official" answer.

I'm not sure I totally buy it though... There was some coincidental things that pointed toward the ATF getting stricter on what could be approved for import, like Global I think it was planning to bring in FEG made lowcap receivers to then open up to take standard mags, etc... But no one has ever posted anything official about the ATF changing anything so it's all conjecture....

Redneck Revolver
March 26, 2005, 06:19 PM
the WASR-10 that my buddy got had a 30-rounder standard along with a 20 rounder and he even has a 75 drum for it. sounds like high cap to me.

beerslurpy
March 26, 2005, 07:24 PM
Thats news to me. All the ones imported now are made from SARs with US trigger groups for 922r compliance. Obviously thats a bit more complicated than straight importing them off the romanian assembly line, but its still importing in my book.

And they are perfectly legal.

In any case, importing AKs has been done to death over the past 10 years, to the point that the market is nearly glutted with a wide variety of AK variants. You shouldnt have any difficulty getting one legally. Your only theoretical problems will arise if you get a "sporterized" Ak variant and desporterize it with imported parts. If you later get raided by the ATF and they need something to get you own because you dodge all the paperwork charges they might notice your AK is a saiga and inspect the parts count, but even that is difficult to prove unless "made in china" is stamped on the convesion parts or something.

In reality it is a way to make extra jobs for US gun importers (who also get to be converters) and encourages foreign manufacturers (like FN) to make factories here.

clange
March 26, 2005, 07:46 PM
Clange, you are wrong on this. The converted WASR has exactly the same status as the SARs, with the substitution of american parts in the proper number, the gun is no longer considered to be imported.

A high cap SAR with the proper number of american parts is considered an american manufactured gun, by law, and is exempt from 922r. Change the parts back to Romanian, and you violate 922r.
Yes, it has the correct number of parts, because it was converted in the US. How it is now has absolutely nothing to do with how it was when it was imported. When it was imported it was all romanian. It is illegal, right now, to import an all romanian SAR. If it wasnt, you wouldnt need any US parts because 922(r) wouldnt apply. Call the BATF and ask them if you can import a pistol grip ak that takes high cap mags. CAI was getting around that, or trying to, by converting them as soon as they hit the US. The BATF said thats no good, because they were still importing them in a banned configuration.

the WASR-10 that my buddy got had a 30-rounder standard along with a 20 rounder and he even has a 75 drum for it. sounds like high cap to me.
Every single high cap WASR-10 that exists originally took single stack 10rd mags. Like i said, its current high cap configuration has absolutely nothing to do with its import configuration.

An all romanian SAR CANNOT be imported. If it could, it would be legal for us the own SARs without US parts. Even if CAI added US parts out of the US, as soon as the rifle was imported, the ATF could consider every part on the rifle to have been imported, regardless of place of manufacture. I read a rumour that this is exactly what CAI was doing, adding US parts in a customs house or something before it was legally in the US. The problem with that would be as soon as it actually enters the US that constitutes an importation, and i would think every part on the rifle could be considered 'imported'.

The problem isnt the conversion, or adding parts, its that you cant legally get a SAR into the US to convert.

NH AR Shooter
March 27, 2005, 06:44 AM
Yes, it has the correct number of parts, because it was converted in the US. How it is now has absolutely nothing to do with how it was when it was imported. When it was imported it was all romanian. It is illegal, right now, to import an all romanian SAR. If it wasnt, you wouldnt need any US parts because 922(r) wouldnt apply. Call the BATF and ask them if you can import a pistol grip ak that takes high cap mags. CAI was getting around that, or trying to, by converting them as soon as they hit the US. The BATF said thats no good, because they were still importing them in a banned configuration. Show me where the ATF said that.

An all romanian SAR CANNOT be imported. Yes it can. If it could, it would be legal for us the own SARs without US parts. Even if CAI added US parts out of the US, as soon as the rifle was imported, the ATF could consider every part on the rifle to have been imported, regardless of place of manufacture. I read a rumour that this is exactly what CAI was doing, adding US parts in a customs house or something before it was legally in the US. The problem with that would be as soon as it actually enters the US that constitutes an importation, and i would think every part on the rifle could be considered 'imported'. Rumors, rumors, rumors....all you have is rumors.


Century can legally import any rifle from anywhere, including full auto AKs, because they are licensed to do so. The Sars could be imported and sold to police and military, without modification, or they could stack them in a warehouse and do nothing with them, or convert them for sale to the public. Century imports fully operational intact machine guns, legally cuts them up, according to BATF procedures, and uses the parts to make Cetmes, Fals, ect, the Romanian guns are completely importable for Century. Century imports them legally, converts them according to ATF guidelines, after which point the guns are legal for public sale. Nothing has changed this.



clange, I challenge you to produce one iota of evidence to prove the ATF banned the import of SARs, a news story, an ATF bulletin, ATF press release, anything at all to support your contention. Anything other than rumors or some guy on another board said...or I heard the ATF....some facts please. I have facts, I know the CAI is a licensed importer of military and civilian weapons, they can import anything they want, and later bring that item into compliance for its intended market.

When the ATF moves against an importer, it is no secret, the ATF holds a press conference. It never happened. Period.

1911user
March 27, 2005, 11:49 AM
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=4&f=64&t=69856

Look at the 4th to last and the last post. It sounds very plausible so there may be the option of more SAR type rifles coming in later IF Century Arms Inc. wants it to happen.

I think the SAR rifles are originally built as semi-auto rifles. I read somewhere that soldiers in the Romanian army start with a semi-auto AK then move up to a select-fire model after training/experience.

clange
March 27, 2005, 01:34 PM
I posted that thread over there after this one to get some more info. Dont know which posts you're talking about though, since the 'last' and '4th from last' could have changed.

clange, I challenge you to produce one iota of evidence to prove the ATF banned the import of SARs, a news story, an ATF bulletin, ATF press release, anything at all to support your contention. Anything other than rumors or some guy on another board said...or I heard the ATF....some facts please. I have facts, I know the CAI is a licensed importer of military and civilian weapons, they can import anything they want, and later bring that item into compliance for its intended market.

This was burried in a parts count thread over there..ATF ruling on high cap receivers (http://www.atf.gov/firearms/assault/treasrelease.htm)

In 1989, the "sporting purposes" provision led ATF to ban the importation of several semiautomatic versions of assault weapons possessing military features such as bayonet mounts, pistol grips, night sights and grenade launchers. After the 1989 prohibition, certain semiautomatic assault rifles that had failed the sporting purposes test were modified to remove all military features except the ability to accept a large capacity military magazine (LCMM) that holds more than 10 rounds. The LCMM rifles are models based on AK-47, FN-FAL, HK 91 and 93, Uzi and SIG SG550 military assault rifles.

This review concluded that the original prohibition is correct and that military-style semiautomatic rifles are not importable.
They say semiautomatic in mutiple places, so it looks like this is why semi-autos are banned, and full autos arent. Full autos arent imported for sale to the public, so why ban them.

I'm not claiming to be some expert or anything, just going through the info search like everyone else. Dont know why the date is before SARs were imported either, but theres at least something.

Edit: I dont care enough about this crap, so i'm throwing in the towel. I just like bending my brain around a mystery, but this one has ceased to amuse me.

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