Keep the State Dept out of Gun Control
For more than two years, the South Korean government has been trying to give back a shipload of military rifles we loaned them in the 1950s. This includes thousands of M1 Garand and M1 Carbines that are craved by collectors in the US. The thing is, the State Department is refusing to let them come home.
(Banned from import!)
Back in 2010, the Obama administration through the State Department blocked the purchase of 87,310 M1 Garands and 770,160 M1 Carbines, saying the American-made antique rifles could "potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes."
These guns were originally loaned to the South Korean military in the 1950s and 60s then sold outright, making them property of the Republic of Korea. Since the ROK has been producing their own weapons for a generation and no longer needs these vintage guns, they tried to sell them to an importer who wanted to bring them back to the states. Then, the word came down that the import would be blocked. Even though there was some glimmers of hope over the past three years that these stranded guns would be somehow allowed to go home, the 'reimportation' or these guns has been specifically banned by Executive Order in September.
The thing is, a hopeful Congresswoman is fighting it.
About HR 2247
The good representative from Wyoming just a few months ago introduced legislation to fix this. The following is from her website.
"On Tuesday U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo) introduced H.R. 2247, the Collectible Firearms Protection Act. The bill reverses a State Department decision to block the importation of historic M1 Garand rifles and M1 carbines from South Korea. Originally furnished by the United States to South Korea for military purposes over 50 years ago, the rifles are widely sought collectors' items and among the most popular rifles in marksmanship competitions. The rifles are perfectly legal to manufacture and sell in the United States and like all firearm imports would be subject to the federal rules and regulations governing retail firearm sales. A similar sale from South Korea was approved during the Reagan Administration. The current State Department's interference with the sale runs counter to the intent of Congress, which on two prior occasions amended the law to allow for this kind of transaction.
"It's disappointing that legislation is even necessary to allow U.S. citizens to access perfectly legal and regulated firearms, in this case storied, U.S.-made rifles that are pieces of U.S. military history," Rep. Lummis said. "This is a political stunt on the part of the State Department, pure and simple, while denying the exercise of Second Amendment rights by law-abiding citizens, firearm collectors, and competitive marksman. The State Department has no business blocking domestic firearm ownership; they are way out of bounds and my legislation will put them back in their place."
(These guns are US military history, and may never be allowed to come back home. Shouldn't all our veterans, even those made of walnut and steel, be honored enough to not be forbidden from the country of their birth?)
Where is the Bill at now?
The bill has been introduced to Congress and is currently being looked at by the House Foreign Affairs and House Ways and Means committees. Besides the bill's own writer, it has 28 cosponsors. The thing is, the committee chair determines if it will move out onto the floor for a vote. Even though both are majority Republican, this is by no means guaranteed. In fact,
Govtrack.us, a non-partisan group that serves as a clearinghouse for information about pending federal legislation says publicly that the bill has a 1% chance of coming out of committee, and 0% chance of passing into law.
With that being said, if you want a shot at a nice historical M1 now or in the future, you may want to call or email your House Rep and see if you can change that. Vote yes on HR2247!