The AK47 is a military weapon by design, and I doubt anyone wants them being used by criminals. I can't argue with either of those points.
I can. Lets take a closer look at the AK47 (and other surplus military arms).
Are they only for soldiers and criminals?????????
In 1903 President Roosevelt persuaded congress to pass acts creating the National Matches and the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice.
In 1905 Congress passed laws allowing the Army to sell "surplus military" rifles to Americans. The DCM (Division of Civilian Marksmanship) program was started to provide instruction to civilians in the use of military firearms and selling these rifles to American Citizens.
In 1996 the DCM was changed to the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program), basically the CMP is run by civilians under charter of congress, to continue the program of the DCM except now the CMP receives no federal funs (as the DCM did), but funds its marksmanship programs with the sales of surplus rifles and equipment.
Where does the AK come in? The CMP, to adhere to their charter conducts Clinics and Matches across the country. Called the GSM or Garand, Springfield and (other) military clinics and matches.
Understanding not everyone shoots vintage military rifles, the CMP created a category called Modern Military, that being AKs, SKS's AR's M1A's etc etc.
Not everyone can afford a AR or M1A as their prices are normally much higher then AKs and SKS's. Allowing such guns allows everyone to participate in the CMP programs, keeping CMP Shooting Games from being a "rich man's sport".
I'm a CMP Master Instructor, I put on CMP GSM Clinics and Matches, I see a lot of Non-Soldiers, non-criminals, compete with AKs and similar rifles.
To say AK's or similar rifles have no use outside of the military is to be un-informed. For a setting president to make such a comment is rather odd, seems like he would know about the charters of congress (during a period when a member of his party was president) commanding the CMP to conduct marksmanship activities with such rifles.