IMI optimistic US will lift ban on Uzi sales

Israel Military Industries sources say the company wants to bring in partners for its light arms factory.

Sources inform “Globes” that Uzi manufacturer Israel Military Industries is optimistic that it will be able to resume sales in the US. Former President Bill Clinton signed a bill banning certain types of automatic and semi-automatic weapons, including the Uzi, blocking signed contracts worth millions of dollars.

The law expires next year, and IMI believes that the Republican administration and Republican-controlled Congress will not renew it.

The Republicans are close to the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), which backs US gun makers. The NRA is one of the strongest lobbies in the US, basing its pro-gun arguments on the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

IMI sources said the company would focus in the future on the mini-Uzi, which currently requires a license to buy.

"We plan to bring in partners to the light arms plant, which also makes the Uzi," said the sources. "The fact that the law will expire and the US market will be reopened to us may raise the value of the factory. We'll be pleased if the law is changed before the investors visit the factory. At this stage, we have no special deployment in advance of a change in policy in the US."

Published by Globes [online] - - on August 13, 2003

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