BREAKING: Obama Removes Arms Embargo in Vietnam, Opening Way for Civilian Imports

AIA M10, formally banned in the USA.

President Obama has lifted the arms embargo on Vietnam that dates back to the Vietnam war. In 2014 the ban was partially lifted by Secretary of State John Kerry, allowing only maritime security-related defense equipment to be exported to Vietnam but continuing to ban imports.

Kerry said, back in 2014, that the partial lifting of the ban was because of China’s actions in the South China Sea. During his visit to Vietnam this week the President said the decision to fully lift the ban has nothing whatsoever to do with China.

The US Code of Federal Regulations Title 22 126.1 (l) currently states (emphasis added):

(l) Vietnam. It is the policy of the United States to deny licenses or other approvals for exports or imports of defense articles and defense services destined for or originating in Vietnam, except that a license or other approval may be issued, on a case-by-case basis, for:
(1) Non-lethal defense articles and defense services, and
(2) Non-lethal, safety-of-use defense articles (e.g., cartridge actuated devices, propellant actuated devices and technical manuals for military aircraft for purposes of enhancing the safety of the aircraft crew) for lethal end-items.
For non-lethal defense end-items, no distinction will be made between Vietnam’s existing and new inventory.
This ban extended to importing firearm parts made in Vietnam. The Australian AIA M-10, a modern version of the Enfield, was not able to be imported into the USA due some parts being made in Vietnam, much to the disappointed of Enfield fans. Unfortunately the lifting of this ban is too late for AIA because as far as I know the company no longer exists.

Vietnam’s defense industry have been producing an AR-15 variant, based on the Colt Commando, called the M18.

vietnam m18 ar-15

Full AR-15 rifles will still be banned by the 1989 Bush Administration’s ban on non-sporting firearm imports, but Obama’s lifting of the embargo will hopefully allow for AR-15 parts to be imported, as well as “sporting rifles”. The lifting of the ban will also allow American manufacturers to export shotguns and .22 rifles to consumers in Vietnam.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • DW

    PPSH-41s anyone?

    • PK

      That would sure be nice, but when we can’t even bring in intact barrels from arms deemed non-sporting, don’t hope too hard.

      • SF

        parts kits! im ready for a new flood of parts kits

        • PK

          Sure, we just need to torch/remove the barrel, torch the trunnion, torch the receiver and remove minimum 1/4″ material per pass (three passes for the PPSh-41 if I recall right) and so forth.

          What you’re left with is not as nice as the existing PPSh-41 kits available for under $200 currently. I’d be more interested in magazines, accessories, anything we can’t currently obtain at a reasonable price.

  • Joe

    Parts kits would be nice. I assume most of whatever was left over from the war is gone, but perhaps some stocks remain.

    • ChierDuChien

      Colt parts were made in the US so what wrong with returning them to the US ?

      • Ken

        The barrel cannot be imported since it’s considered a “machine gun” part due to having been on a full auto weapon. Parts kits haven’t included barrels since the early to mid 2000’s.

        If it was formerly a US property M16 (or the parts), then it’s subject to the approval of the State Dept as per the 1968 GCA. Any firearms that are formerly US property require their approval to be imported, regardless of how it left US service or who currently owns it. I don’t know if the former RVN acquired their M16’s through commercial sales directly from Colt or if they bought US property ones off the US military.

        (Keep in mind the CMP does not import firearms. The firearms that the US Army donates to it never left US ownership, but were simply lent into foreign service.)

        • Steve_7

          They were supplied under MAP. Been banned from import since 1975. Sam Cummings tried to buy it all up back in the 1970s and store it in his warehouse in Manchester but he gave up when he realized the State Dept. was never going to budge on the import ban. Various other arms dealers did buy it up eventually though, e.g. Mick Ranger of Imperial Defence Services bought up a large part of the M16s given to the ARVN.

        • nicholsda

          The barrel of an M-16 does not count. It never was the machine gun as defined by law. In the case of the M-16, the lower receiver with the serial number is the ” machine gun” . In the case of an M2 Carbine, it is the receiver and/or a complete set of conversion parts. It is perfectly legal to have the full auto bolts in an AR-15 if it is a semi-auto AR-15 and made that way. My AR-15 has a “machine gun ” barrel and is perfectly legal here. Here is what the BATFE had to say in one of their rulings.
          ” M16, hammers, triggers,disconnectors, selectors and bolt carriers must not be used in assembly of AR-15 type semiautomatic rifles, unless the M16 parts have been modified to AR-15 Model SP1 configuration.” Note that barrels are not mentioned.

          • Ken

            Section 925(d)(3):

            “(3) is of a type that does not fall within the definition of a firearm as defined in section 5845(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes, excluding surplus military firearms, except in any case where the Attorney General has not authorized the importation of the firearm pursuant to this paragraph, it shall be unlawful to import any frame, receiver, or barrel of such firearm which would be prohibited if assembled; or”

            This is the Federal statute that the ATF uses to ban the importation of barrels taken off of unimportable firearms.

          • nicholsda

            When we get an AG that actually obeys the laws, (s)he will read the laws correctly. Importation cannot take place with something that was made here in the first place. An AR-15 barrel is no different than an M-16 barrel. Many of them went down the same US assembly lines.

            Back in the 60s some cars were shipped to Australia in kit form and assembled there. A US citizen wanted to bring one back about 10 years later. It was impounded by Customs as it could not meet the emissions requirements for imports at the time. It was argued in court that the car, while assembled in Australia, was not an import because it was a US product. Customs dropped the case when told that the judge was going to rule against them and the car was released.

            BATFE can change its mind just like it changes directors when a new boss comes in. The current director has shown he is anti-firearms by his violations of the laws. He uses the same logic like the nominee that 0bama put up for Supreme Court Justice. Delay until forced to admit being wrong. Just like the director is doing with corrections upon appeal of a denial on a NICS check. Stonewalling by moving all agents to purchase checks instead of keeping some to handle appeals.

          • I agree with your interpretation. However, ATF does not.

          • nicholsda

            That is why elections matter. One idiot backed by another in the White House vs the millions who own firearms and can think. I think our interpretation should rule.

            But just on the off chance we don’t get the change we need in Nov, I bought another semi-evil gun. A Ruger Mini-14. 😀

  • Don Ward

    I’m hoping for some ARVN rifles that have never been fired and only dropped once.

    • ChierDuChien

      That would be 90% of the ones we gave them.

      • MrEllis

        It’s probably because they were jamming and they had to fight with rocks.

        • Evan

          Actually ARVN got mostly old WWII and Korea surplus, like M2 carbines, M3 Grease Guns, Thompsons, Garands etc., as well as old French surplus etc.
          It wasn’t until later in the war they got M16s.

          • MrEllis

            I’m asking if ARVN attacked the French…

          • Kivaari

            ARVN had modern USA equipment at the end. The weapons listed were still in use by US forces. A rifle made in 1954 wasn’t some old and outdated piece of junk.

        • tsubaka

          since they were using 105mm against us (french) in Dien bien phu in 1954 i’m pretty sure they were well equiped by their northen neighboor
          Also handmade weapons were common

          • MrEllis

            ARVN? Wait, what?

          • tsubaka

            ooops……. i confused with the vietcongs, shame on me, yeah i was taking about the north vietnam, i’m stupid

          • Kivaari

            The NVA was actually the PAVN, but NVA rolled off the tongue easier than Peoples Army of Vietnam. NV never existed in the minds of the north. All of Vietnam, was theirs.

          • ray

            So when do we get those 105mm parts kits?

          • tsubaka

            supplied from mother russia and friendly neighboor china, so better get the originals than rusted and overused 70’s ones from vietnam

          • That wasn’t the ARVNs…

    • Steve_7

      They were largely exported a long time ago, which is why you see M16A1s cropping up all over the place you wouldn’t expect. The Vietnamese for example shipped a fair number to the FMLN in El Salvador, one of them ended up in the hands of El Chapo’s bodyguards, he was captured with an XM16E1 in the sewer trying to escape.
      All the ones in decent condition were exported, and the ones that weren’t in decent condition were stripped for parts, mainly the bolt carrier since the State Dept. banned exports of MG parts back in 1998 (except for govt. sales). The XM177s were all exported as well.
      I can tell you from personal experience that dunking an M16A1 in cosmoline for 25 years wrecks the furniture!
      Interesting question is whether the State Dept. still asserts ownership over US materiel left in Vietnam. This has always been a problem, for example imports of helicopters from Australia into Hawaii have been stopped because it turned out some of the parts came from US helicopters left in Vietnam.

      • Last I checked, they do for import purposes. Doesn’t matter that the government that we gave them to lost control of them (and went out of existence) – in fact, that, if anything, *strengthens* their argument that they should be prohibited, because they can assert that lawful title reverts back to us, rather than to the enemy government who conquered our ally.

  • Julio

    The AIA rifles were a nice idea, but quality was variable -and never very high (IME). It would be great to see someone have another -and better- go at manufacturing a modernised Enfield, however.

    • I was under the impression that the problem with the AIA wasn’t that the action was manufactured in Vietnam, it was that the stock was manufactured in Vietnam.

      Still, love to see them come back. Otherwise, I’ll take some Vietnamese SKSs.

      • Anon. E Maus

        If they could pump out a slightly modernized SKS at Norinco prices that would rule.

        Imagine, a railed top-cover that sits down proper and allows you to mount sights and optics on it with ease, the option to get it with a plastic stock, and the rifle being available in not only classic 7.62x39mm, but also 5.45x39mm and 5.56x45mm, using the appropriate stripper clips.

        What with the law changes in California, I think it’d be a good business idea.

        • Navy Davy

          What law changes in Calif?

          • Kivaari

            Go on line. They just passed another 10 gun laws. No more bullet button systems. Registration-background checks on ammunition. Same old stuff that only hurts the good.

        • Can’t you already get something reasonably similar with a magwedge rail and a proper stock?

      • Kivaari

        They would be a good idea, if they were made correctly. Cobbling junk parts together can result in a collection of junk.

    • Mike

      Nothing smoother than a Enfield action.

      • iksnilol


        Sauer 200 STR


        • MeaCulpa

          Some would also cough Husqvarna 1900. Smooooth action, not always the most reliable though.

          • Henrik Bergdahl

            I have never had a problem with my 1900 🙂

          • MeaCulpa

            My friend who has one hasn’t either, but the 1900 had a reputation of being less reliable then the 1640 (?) as that was basically a M/98 Mauser action I would say that it was a high bar. My gripe with the 1900 is primarily the cheap looking aluminium parts, I would still like one of the last Swedish made ones, FFV/CG FTW!

      • marathag


      • djdiym

        * hack* *cough*

        Agreed !!


        • Matt Wilder

          *hack hack* -hacked a lung up- Sako Finnwolf.
          My grandfather had one my brother and I used to use, and boy, lever actions, and actions period, never came smoother than that.

    • John Bear Ross

      Tristar imported a number of 7.62×39 AIA Enfield carbines. They were sold through Gander Mountain. I asked a fellow on the FAL Files to disassemble one and take pics. It looked like a .308 Win-length action with a magazine block in it to take AK mags. Add in the Brewer barrel nut, and you had a lot of modular potential.
      The first American company to find one and reverse-engineer it in 7.62 NATO to take SR-25/Magpul pattern mags (hell, even the original M-14 mags) would be receiving a lot of my money.


  • MrEllis


    • SF

      Obama supporter grasping on to anything he can?

      • Jwedel1231

        Probably just sarcasm and trolling. Kinda funny, though.

      • MrEllis

        Realist who has watched almost 8 years of “he’s taking our guns, just any second right now he’s gonna swoop in and take them all and kick our babies.”

        Now he’s giving you guns and not one word is said about all the panic and insane ramblings. Just gone, forgotten, like nothing happened. At this point he could give out gold bricks and some people would complaint hey were too heavy.

        People are going to construct elaborate conspiracies as to why and dismiss actual facts but it’s amazing to watch everyone avoid the elephant in the room in the meantime. So yeah, I’m trolling a bit, but I’m also kidding on the square.

        • DaveP.

          So all those speeches he gave about the fierce urgency of gun control and gun registration, the renewal of an assault weapons ban… he was lying through all of that, right?
          And then there was Obama blocking the Congressional subpoenas into Fans and Furious… guess he was just looking out for the children, or something.

          • MrEllis

            OUR FREEDOMS!

          • DaveP.

            All the education and erudition anyone can expect from an Obama supporter.
            So tell me: was he lying or not? Do you continue to support someone you admit is a liar?

          • MrEllis

            You only support politicians whom have never uttered one lie? Name one.

            You’re so precious when you’re facile and tilting at strawmen.

          • DaveP.

            Question isn’t about me it’s about you. Defend your self-righteousness. Do better that two words in all-caps.

          • MrEllis

            Ahh, another entitled net warrior who thinks everyone owes him something. Odd how you can’t suffer the same scrutiny you demand. I’m no stranger to irony. But much like real life, your demands are impotent here as well. Get used to it, cupcake, if you’re going to embrace the cognitive dissonance, don’t expect to take others with you on that trip.

            Your entire construct literally demands any reasonable person respond with two words in all caps. My statement stands and my question lies unanswered. But you are just totes adorbs when you are facile.

            P.S. Might want to tone down the “righteous fury” before you go off censuring others.

          • Gentlemen stop the personal attacks and insults. When you do this it’s a disservice to fellow readers who came here to read the article, discuss it and stay on topic.

          • Kivaari

            Obama and Hillary supporters do not care if their person is right or wrong.

          • Bill

            You don’t think he new he could say pretty much anything re Newtown and other mass shootings and absolutely zilch would occur legislatively? He couldn’t/can’t act unilaterally, and isn’t stupid; he knew darn well that Congress doesn’t have the stomach to push anti-gun legislation.

          • DaveP.

            That’s not Obama, that’s Congress. You’re conflating the two. Obama certainly wanted to push anti-gun legislation and has done so. Remember how he supported Manchin-Toomey?

          • Bill

            I’m not conflating them; you’re making my point: Obama can say anything knowing full well that he’s a lame duck and Congress doesn’t have any interest in setting themselves up for another electoral bloodletting like after their last anti-gun push.

          • valorius

            If your point is that Obama is not wildly Antigun you are a fool

          • Bill

            Obama is antigun, maybe “wildly,” maybe not, but he’s smart enough to know that there is nothing he can enact in the way of successful anti-gun legislation OR HE WOULD HAVE DONE IT.

            If you think he’s “wildly antigun” and you think he would wait until the LAST 6 MONTHS OF HIS ADMINISTRATION to do something, well, I’m not the fool here. If he couldn’t get legislative traction after Aurora, Newtown, the Gifford shooting, Denver and any/all the other mass shootings during his administration, what’s he going to do now?

          • Kivaari

            He cried about not getting his gun laws through congress following Newtown. very time he calls for gun control like Australia, he is encouraging the anti-gun-nuts to push for more. Like California did this week.

          • Bill

            And yet there is still no nationwide AWB, or mag limits, or waiting period, or mental health exam or mass confiscations and FEMA re-education camps.

            Do we have more or less anti-gun legislation on the books now than we did 20 years ago?

          • Kivaari

            Americans can not freely travel around the United States without fear of arrest, trial, conviction, confiscation and denial of rights for the rest of their lives. As a retired cop we are said to have national carry rights, except they are not honored in CA, DC, MD, MA, NY, CT, OR, NJ, Chicago, LA, so we do have a massive denial of rights effecting over 20% of our people. Why, should anyone be denied rights simply b crossing a state line or city limits? Why can’t people in transit enter those states without risk of many year in prison and lifelong felony records? If I visit NYC and need a gun for defense or want to take a subway, I risk everything. That should not be.

          • Bill

            If you can’t see that things are far, far better than they used to be, I can’t help you. And Obama had nothing to do with any of the regulations you are talking about. For 2/3rds of my career there was no LEOSA, and I couldn’t carry anywhere outside of my state, nor was a CCW option, like it is now in the majority of the states, and that doesn’t even address reciprocity, so I don’t know where “fear of arrest, trial, conviction, confiscation and denial of rights for the rest of their lives” is coming from. Certainly not the 1986 FOPA.

            Why people refuse to acknowledge the vast progress we have made legislatively is incomprehensible.

          • Kivaari

            You are stubborn. The state listed above do not honor FOPA or LEOSA. If you don’t know that, than please go carry a gun there.

          • Bill

            No, I’m realistic. Before the LEOSA and FOPA there were 49 other states I couldn’t carry in, nor were CCW provisions nearly as widespread as they are today. And I’ve carried in several of those places mentioned, because whether they like it or not there is this thing called the Supremacy Clause and no matter what the respective state legislation wants to try and pass no local cop or prosecutor is going to take a case they no is going to bite them in the butt.

            You insist on seeing the glass nearly dry, instead of even half full.

          • Kivaari

            Tell the cop about the supremacy clause. He”ll laugh as he watches the jail door hit you in the ass.

          • Kivaari

            Better in sane places, worse in others. You seem to think not having gun rights in New England states and California is being half full.
            I see it as denial of rights to the people. Welcome to NJ where stopping to rest at a rest stop can lead to a felony conviction for having guns. Going to the police to register your guns upon moving to NJ results in a felony conviction and prison time. Sure Christie let the guy out, but didn’t remove his felony record. That is simply wrong. Where did FOPA come into play? It doesn’t matter to cops in those states. When I made traffic stops I couldn’t have cared less if the driver had a gun as long as he wasn’t a threat. I knew guys that would trash a drivers car, then issue a criminal citation, when there was no violation of the law. It was so bad that the AAG had to issue rules on what was lawful. Yet, local cops and prosecutors kept arresting people. People should not have to have the burden and cost of lawyers when the cops and prosecutors simply don’t care. Do it in NJ, and you are screwed.

          • nicholsda

            When it is the regular Joe that can carry ( or own without registration ) then I’d say there was an improvement. Cops that are retired are no better than anyone else that is retired and the truth be told, in shooting incidents, cops wound up shooting more innocent people than a concealed carrier would.

          • Bill

            “the truth be told, in shooting incidents, cops wound up shooting more innocent people than a concealed carrier would.”

            Maybe that’s the truth, in your reality, on your planet. Interesting how you can predict the future.

          • The stats are clear:. Cops make more mistakes in shoots (both unjustified shoots and hitting the wrong targets) than lawfully armed civilians. That’s not conjecture, hyperbole, nor cherry picking cases.

            Part of that is that most cops today are not “shooters”, and are perfectly happy hitting the minimum qualification standards and won’t soend a dime of their own money on private practice. And a large part is that the cop generally has a *much* murkier tactical picture than an armed civilians faces, due to the nature of being a reactive response – John Q. Public, being attacked, doesn’t have any doubt in his mind who the bad guys are.

          • valorius

            just cause he cant politically achieve his goal does not for one second mean he wouldnt ban them all if he could.

          • Bill

            BUT HE CAN’T. I’d sleep with Canadian supermodels if I could, BUT I CAN’T.

          • valorius

            He CANT because of our vigilance and success at electing R’s to congress.

          • Bill

            So what’s you’re major malfunction? Afraid aliens are going to abduct 2 out of 3 of the branches of government? What he wants is pointless and ain’t going to happen.

          • valorius

            The balance of power is one election away from a total reversal, at any time.

            But honestly, the only major malfunction here is you.

          • Bill

            Can you come up with any rational explanation how one election could upset the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branch simultaneously so that one person could seize power and impose his own personal will on the entire freaking USA?…I didn’t think so.

          • valorius

            Sure, the 2008 election of Barack Obama did exactly that.


          • Paul White

            I don’t think he likes them but it isn’t like he’s invested much if any political capital for gun control, or made it a major part of his agenda. He’s given some speeches about it, woopee.

          • valorius

            He hasnt done more because he cannot do more.

          • Kivaari

            Obama gives aid and comfort to the enemy.

          • Bill

            He’s not doing a very good job of it.

          • Boss

            Odd you would defend the occupy Whitehouse sock puppet jihadist here.

            Nothing he might try to do will surprise most of us. Remember, this is the guy that ordered all schools, kindergarten to collage that they MUST allow men/boys into the women/girl(s) bathroom and shower should they feel like they want to go there.

            Like most liberals you conflate, obfuscate, and offer extreme examples to prove your pointless point.

            Unless you are really not a liberal, then you could be in for a big surprise.

            “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.” – Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)

          • Bill

            I’m not defending him, I’m pointing out how little of a threat he actually is to gun rights.

            What did I conflate, obfuscate, or offer an extreme example of?
            You’re the one whose bowels are in an uproar over public restrooms.
            He IS a lame duck and the clock is ticking down.
            He DOESN’T have the support of a conservative Congress to enact antigun legislation.

            What is pointless about those points? Please, oh wise one, enlighten me.

          • Kivaari

            He supports local efforts knowing congress wont go his way.

          • Kivaari

            State legislatures in the commie states are taking rights from us. Look at the New England states and California.

          • Bill

            Not being a politician, I understand that the USA consists of more than California and New England. Gun control in those areas you mention isn’t a new thing at all.

            Really, by now you must think the glass is bone-dry with waterspots.

        • valorius

          obama would ban guns in an instant if he could. Don’t be a deluded and naive fool.

          • MrEllis

            That’s the spirit!

          • Bill

            But he can’t. Realize that. Deal with it. You need to find another fiction to fear.

          • deanguilberry

            Bill said “But he can’t. Realize that. Deal with it. You need to find another fiction to fear.”
            Bill BHO can and would. Let him nominate a Supreme court Justice before he leaves office and you will see it happen!

          • valorius

            He cant BECAUSE of the efforts of the NRA and groups like it, who are formed by us all.

        • LiberalsH8Me

          Oh you mean the Russian import ban–so no more Russian-built AKs…
          Banning the import of US made M1 rifles from Korea…
          The countless times he’s IMMEDIATELY called for gun control within minutes after some left wing nut job went on a shooting spree??
          You call yourself a realist? More like real dumb. Pay attention cause class is in session.

          • MrEllis

            I think I got one of those molester teachers. 🙁

          • LiberalsH8Me

            Takes one to know one…and in your case you set the bar high for liberal molesting

        • pismopal

          My right to a firearm does not come from comes from the 2nd amendment. He is not.. ” giving us guns”….but..he is, as you say, ” giving out gold bricks”.

          • Kivaari

            Except even if your right remains, as it is a natural right, states can and do deny you to use that right.

        • Boss

          He’s not giving anything. Once he figures out the unintended consequence of pledging allegiance to Vietnam another amendment or presidential fatwa will be enacted to stop any flow of “assault weapons”.
          No conspiracies necessary, elaborate or otherwise. The only construct I see is your insane ramblings to convince the rest of us that the Great and Wonderful occupy Whitehouse sock puppet jihadist is GIVING US something!

          2/4 3rd Mar Div VN 67-69

          “Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms” – Aristotle

  • Ken

    If the importers get around to it, there could be lots of cool stuff like AK parts kits, SKS rifles, and other old guns. I’m sure they have some rare (rare at least in the US) AK’s such as Soviet milled guns, early production Type 56, and North Korean ones. The importer would just need to be able to prove that they have been in Vietnam for long enough to not be considered from their original countries (which are proscribed).

    • zardoz711

      depends how good the NVA was a keeping records while we were shelling them.
      i’d bet it’s more likely to see de-milled parts and pieces come over than whole units

  • smartacus

    “this has nothing to do with China”
    yeah, right bob

    • DaveP.

      People forget that Viet Nam fought a war against China (and won!) much more recently than they fought one against the US.
      Personally, I’m interested on the job-lots of M1 carbines we sent over during the war: since the government they were sent to is no longer existent, could they be shipped back here and sold in the civilian market without having to go through the CMP?

      • smartacus

        i have a feeling Viet Nam and China will be going to war again soon
        (very soon)
        China’s gravy train of the burgeooning middle class thanks to cheap labor by means of currency manipulation is coming to an abrupt end as robots take over the workforce. FoxConn just fired 60,000 workers. Even Adidas is bringing manufacturing back to Germany due to robotics. This is all just the very beginning.

        China will be looking for a casus belli sooner rather than later.

        • Well, that’s *why* Obama wants to sell Vietnam ordnance – to try and “contain” Chinese aggression and spread.

  • gunsandrockets

    My thoughts exactly.

  • Rock or Something

    The original article was light on specifics, but I perceive the “lifting” of the embargo was mostly for the exporting of U.S. military hardware to Vietnam. I doubt there will be civilian consumer demand in Vietnam for our small arms, nor do I think there will be a flood of imported Vietnamese small arms allowed for the U.S. civilian market

    • Audie Bakerson

      There are likely enough old AKs sitting around for US manufacturers to buy up as parts kits like they did with Poland’s stock.

      Hopefully a bunch of bakelite magazines too.

      • Considering Vietnam still issues the AK as front line equipmen and SE Asia is *hard* on weapons (including AKs, which actually have crappy protection against corrosion), I suspect those AK parts would make the dreck we destroyed for the Iraqis look like NIB by comparison.

    • MeaCulpa

      Maybe some sales of 10/22? can’t imagine much else if I’m being honest.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    Consumer demand for small arms among Vietnamese civilians? What is this, ‘suicide by owning a gun’?

    • iksnilol

      You’re thinking of China.

  • Billy Jack

    They need some destroyers and some nukes if they want to get that Chinese oil rig off their doorstep.

  • El Duderino

    Sounds to me that the chances of those of us in the US getting any complete guns as part of this change is about zero.

  • Audie Bakerson

    I’d be willing to pay 2 million dongs for any SKSes they got as aid back in the day.

    • I want to make a pervy comment very badly…

      • nicholsda


  • Obama, where are my Cuban parts kits? Still waiting…

    • Richard

      I doubt that any parts kits from Cuba or Vietnam would ever come here

  • john huscio

    Does Vietnam make a copy of the type 56? Could be a way for chinese-pattern AKs to come back into the country

    • Scott P

      They build AK-47’s with some Russian and Chinese influence as well as an AK that looks very much like an AK-100 series rifle.

      Vietnam hates China so they threw off any influence they had after the war coupled with several border skirmishes too.

  • Lance

    Its too bad that Obama’s ATF cheif won’t let said arms to be imported. But who knows what van sneak thew. We got a ton of Chinese T-56 SKS-45s from Cambodia a year ago. Don’t count on any AR or AK guns or kits coming threw the current ATF though.

    • MrEllis

      That’s better. That’s the comment section I know.

  • spenserjb

    They should set up some kind of deal with Norinco to import Type 97s…

    • Anon

      Fat chance of that happening after what Norinco did, what you would be better off doing is comforting a Canadian about a tragic boating accident that they had…

  • Martin M

    It is amazing how the most anti-gun President in US history has done nothing but quadruple firearm production and sales in the US, AND allow for more imports! Nothing short of incredible.

    • Anon

      It wouldn’t surprise me if he said half the stuff he said to raise stocks, so he could make more money.

    • Anon. E Maus

      He blocked a lot of Russian imports though, as well as blocking the re-importation of M1 Carbines from South Korea.

      • Scott P

        And banned 7n6 ammo as well as State AUG pistol caliber conversion kits.

        • Scott P


  • MAF

    Just want we need–cheap, low quality Vietnamese gun parts flooding in, hurting our domestic producers. I’m against.

    • MrEllis

      Heh. If we’re making sub-Vietnamese quality gun parts we sort of deserve it.

    • Yeah, because there’s a flood of US companies making No4 rifles, [/sarc]?

  • MrEllis

    Hunters, farmers, civilians, poachers, criminals… yeah.

  • Tinklebell

    I somehow doubt that this will have any significant implications for the civilian markets in either country. Vietnam isn’t as restrictive about firearms as other Asian countries, but that means .22’s and shotguns only. Considering that, and the fact that permits for these weapons are difficult to obtain, I think this concerns military and law enforcement rather than civilians.

  • Mark

    Perhaps now Vietnamese Catholics may arm and defend themselves instead of being pulled out of Mass and having boiling water poured down their throats. Yes, still happening there.

    • iksnilol

      I’ma need a source on that.

      • Mark

        My in-laws still “in country.”

        • Dual sport

          I’m with him. A news article would be nice.

          I have exchanged email at length with a network administrator who works there about six months out of the year. According to him it’s a great place to work with the Vietnamese trying hard to leave communism for capitalism, at least at the working class level and with the younger generations.

          Perhaps there are terrorists groups active against other organized religions.

          • Mark

            As if the seminal theorists of Communism have not explicitly stated their enmity with Christianity?
            As if any establishment media is the source of truth? There are plenty of “news articles” touting the false flags that sent to war men that we mourn today.

          • Mark

            Ut iudicentur omnes qui non crediderunt veritati, sed consenserunt iniquitati.

  • John

    It’s probably meant more for ships, APCs and airplanes than small arms.

    Didn’t Firearm Blog report that Vietnam chose the Galil ACE rifle as the standard-issue replacement, chambered in 7.62 Russian so they could use all their existing magazines and equipment?

    • Tritro29

      Less than 15 thousand rifles have been ordered…Despite the actual lines being able to churn out 50 thousand rifles a year.

      Last year they barely managed to “finish” 3000 rifles for the 2nd of September. Also the ACE’s are restricted military items in Vietnam.

  • Daniel M. Ramos

    What the hell is the definition of a “sporting rifle”? This sounds like one hell of a business opportunity to me. I have an idea, maybe Keltec could get their guns made by the Vietnamese? Wow, that might improve their profit margins and solve the problem they have meeting demand. Hell, maybe a firearm startup could get things off the ground by using Vietnam as a manufacturing base like we did with the ChiComs and electronics.

    • Its whatever the BATFE define as a sporting rifle ….

      • marathag

        ..and subject to change at any time.

        • nicholsda

          And as often as the Director changes his underwear.

  • Yes, sport shooters can obtain licenses for shotguns and .22 rifles (target shooting)

    • Southpaw89

      Civilian arms in Vietnam might make for an interesting article.

      • Kivaari

        You would likely need to be a party member in very good standing.

    • Ceiling Cat

      It really doesnt exist in practice.

  • Porty1119

    Hows about a few thousand crates of SKSs? If Vietnamese firearm quality is comparable to China or the Philippines, I will be very pleased.

  • Southpaw89

    Interesting development, I’m eager to see what comes of it.

  • Andrew Dubya

    Parts? Anyone thinking about Nam-era Norinco T56 Parts kits?

  • SirOliverHumperdink

    Screw their goofy guns, send the(cheap) ammo instead.

  • DaveP.

    Don’t expect a pre-1940’s “We officially declare war on you!” thing. It’s more likely you’ll see an expansion of what China’s doing in the Spratleys, along with an increasing amount of “That’s China’s territorial waters you’re crossing (three miles outside of your own port); be a shame if anything happens to your merchant shipping…” bullying and extortion.

    • Tritro29

      Let’s not discuss things the US has become a master at…Critical mass of China will make it a nuisance to its neighbors. Just like the US was to its own. The difference being that China has a couple million more people to piss off, than the US had when it basically did what China is doing now. It’s a cyclic thing for Global Powers, it’s an initiation ritual…

  • Ceiling Cat

    >American manufacturers to export shotguns and .22 rifles to consumers in Vietnam.
    Lol if they can actually sell them.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    I’d like a list of firearm manufacturers in Vietnam, please.

    • nicholsda

      Just about anyone who was VC.

  • MrEllis

    The fact he was elected, then left office when his term was over sort of undermines the whole emperor/tyrant/dictator shtick. The rest of the vague ramblings from FOX News, Truth About Guns and Alex Jones I’ll let you keep. You can have that to make you feel better. But enough with the whole need to be dominated by a black dude, it’s getting weird.

    • nicholsda

      He hasn’t left office yet so you can’t use that. Now about being elected, the majority of US qualified electors never voted for him. Not the first or second time.

  • adverse4

    No politics here.

  • Cmex

    So when can we see what Saigon got cooking? I want a rifle called the Pho Kham Ap.

  • Leigh Rich

    I have an AIA rifle . Wonderful rifle. Too bad AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL ARMS PTY LTD are now out of business anyway.

  • Gringo_Cracker

    I’d much prefer he lifted his embargo on repatriating war surplus M1s from South Korea, which is already an ally and trading partner.

    • Geoffry K

      Same here. If we could import those 10s of thousands that South Korea doesn’t want, maybe the price would come down and I could afford one.

      • Herman Johnson

        Be patient – once we get this despicable despot out of office, and, God willing, if we don’t get a FAR WORSE 2.0 version of him as a replacement (Hillary), perhaps these rifles can be imported.

      • lookinoutforu

        Spot on! Those M1’s would get bought up plenty quick.

    • nicholsda

      Sad thing is, most of those are well past their prime. The better ones were brought back before the bans and even they were not the best.

      • Gringo_Cracker

        I suspect that isn’t why Obama spared us the opportunity.

  • So did the embargo on Korean leftover M1’s, and M1 carbines get lifted? I remember Clinton had pushed against returning a lot of Korean War firearms awhile ago.

    If the Korean embargo is still in place, this lifting is a slap in the face!

    • Steve_7

      No it didn’t, but those are banned because they are lend-lease guns and the US still claims to own it. US stuff left behind in Vietnam is banned from import because the US still claims to own it as it was given under the MAP. Slightly different situation. I doubt this lifting of the total ban will make any difference.

      • Scott P

        That isn’t the reason otherwise the government would have stated so.

        No they said that they didn’t want these “weapons of war” on our streets. Yes, because gangsters and mass shooters are just waiting to get their hands on old M1 rifles and carbines /sarc.

        Also if you read the executive action further it doesn’t just ban U.S. surplus guns from South Korea but ALL U.S. surplus guns from anywhere.

        • nicholsda

          No it does not. It bans importation of them. The S. Koreans could turn them over to the US Army and then they would be allowed back into the US. Same with all the M1 Carbines in Vietnam. The US Army could then turn them over to the CMP at cost for sale to the public.

  • Mark Ri

    The only problem with this is, civilians in Vietnam are not allowed to own firearms unless they can pay off the local politicians. So exporting anything to them is not a benefit to anyone but the rich.
    Once again, the only people importing FROM Vietnam benefits is the rich. So apparently Obama has some stake in all this for after he’s out of office. Between Cuba and Vietnam, Obama could make a whole lot of money, what an ASSHAT.

  • Fritz12

    So this “News” is basically a worthless issue. Unless “opening way for civilian imports” means the Vietnamese civilians can start importing Rugers, S&W’s etc. On no wait they’re not allowed to own guns, they’re Communists! Bless their little pink hearts.

    • Kivaari

      Like usual if you are a high party official you MAY be allowed to own a gun. Even then it is discouraged.

  • I’ve seen the AIAs for sale… in Canada. Of course, any dealer/gunsmith FFL can get “one off” import approvals (Form 6, IIRC) for specific customers, so you could get one from Canada, even though they are out of production.

    *IF* Obama recinds the entire section, versus merely recinding the *export* ban. (He could, quite easily, leave the *import* ban intact, after all.)

    • Steve_7

      No you can’t, ATF won’t grant the permit, even for individuals. In fact, they won’t even grant a Form 6NIA for temporary import. It’s absurd because next time the Olympics are held in the US the Russians and Chinese for example won’t be able to import their guns if they’ve been made in Russia or China.
      The State Dept. has told ATF to deny all permits, I spoke to an assistant director (or whatever his title was, the guy who spoke to the State Dept. at any rate) at ATF about it. Technically, ATF don’t consider a temporary import to be an “import” for the purposes of the GCA but under their own regulations, the State Dept. considers any entry to be an import, even temporary.

      • nicholsda

        The Department of State is run by a bunch of idiots and has been for a long time. Think about this, why does the Dept have the right to license a firearm manufacturer who never exports one firearm?

  • Jim

    Hypocrisy at it’s best. While the president and his minions seek to dissasemble the Bill of Rights here at home seeking to remove our 2nd amendment rights they make it easier for our former enemies to be successful. Including endeavors they wish to bar to us.
    Looks like they trust them more than you and me.

  • RPK

    After 10,000 days of war and well over 58,000 deaths of American servicemen, ANYTHING from VietNam has a ‘tainted” connection to it.

  • town22

    Allowe American manugactutrers to export shotguns and .22 rifles. Does the Vietnamese government permit its citizens to buy guns?

  • Stomper

    The finish on those parade Colt Commando knock-offs are WAY too uniform and they’re either 100% spray painted, or they’re rubber training dummies.

  • CavScout

    Who wants any of the Vietnese’s junk? This only helps them. Not us. Why else would Obama do it?

  • *Centuries* of memory there. And Vietnam is still pissed about the border realignment from the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War. Specifically,the traditional border gate between the two empires (back when they had emperors) is now firmly in Chinese hands, with great loss of face for the Viets.

    • Kivaari

      As I referred to “The Fire In The Lake” goes back 1,000 years. It’s like Finland having to give up land to the Soviet Union during WW2s clean up.