Why is Obama administration blocking import of surplus rifles?
- August 17th, 2010 9:48 am
"The U.S. government opposed South Korea’s bid to sell hundreds of thousands of aging U.S. combat rifles to American gun collectors," Jung Sung-ki of The Korea Times reports
"The ministry announced the plan last September as part of efforts to boost its defense budget, saying the export of the M1 Garand and carbine rifles would start by the end of 2009."
So why didn't they?
"The U.S. administration put the brakes on the plan, citing “problems” that could be caused by the importation of the rifles."
Problems? What problems?
"The problems the U.S. government cited were somewhat ambiguous, said an official at the Ministry of National Defense on condition of anonymity."
Oh, in other words, made up problems. The administration came up with baseless excuses about aging rifles that "could cause problems such as firearm accidents."
And they said that bad guys might get a hold of them!
The truth could not be simpler: Older rifles can be safely maintained and sold. Just ask the Civilian Marksmanship Program
. I got my M1 Garand
back when the Director of Civilian Marksmanship program was controlled by the Department of the Army and it remains a favorite gun.
And the bad guy excuse could be used to object to the sale of all guns everywhere. Meanwhile, they're denying an opportunity to good guys--you know, the ones the Founders deemed "necessary to the security of a free State"...
This is ridiculous, offensive and subversive.
It's also more proof of the anti-gun agenda the Obama administration has been forced by political realities to keep under wraps during his first term. The antis would have us believe the lie that he has expanded gun rights--the basic talking point they push is that he signed a law allowing for guns to be carried in National Parks.
What happened there was he was unwilling to derail a credit card bill where that provision was slipped in. Why was it done that way?
Because a Clinton-appointed federal judge sabotaged a Bush administration ruling
providing for guns in parks under the transparent that recognizing unalienable rights requires an extended bureaucratic environmental impact study. And Obama, who played his part in the charade and did not direct an appeal, would have been perfectly happy to wait that out
had his hand not been forced.
Add to this all those anti-gun nominations: Eric Holder
, Sonia Sotomayor
, Elena Kagan
He may have erased his anti-gun wishlist from the White House website
(an old tactic
perfected by his ideological forebears), but his hostility to our right to keep and bear arms remains. He just doesn't dare show his hand. Yet.
It's up to us to keep it that way.
Let's push back. I have no idea what the best way to reverse this latest import ban decision would be, but I'm going to do some investigating. If anyone has any ideas on how to apply pressure, please share it.
Hopefully, this will not be the last word.
Obama Bans More than 100,000 American-Made Rifles
Opinion by The Volokh Conspiracy
(1 Day Ago) in Society
By David Kopel
According to The Korea Times
, the Obama administration has blocked efforts by the South Korean government to sell over a hundred thousand surplus M1 Garand
rifles into the United States market. These self-loading were rifles introduced in 1926 and 1941.
As rifles, they are especially well-suited to community defense in an emergency, as in the cases of community defense following Hurricane Katrina
in 2005 and Hurricane Andrew
in 1992. Along with AR-15 type rifles, the M1 rifles are the quintessential firearms of responsible citizenship, precisely the type of firearms which civic responsibility organizations such as the Appleseed Project
teach people how to use.
According to a South Korean official, “The U.S. insisted that imports of the aging rifles could cause problems such as firearm accidents. It was also worried the weapons could be smuggled to terrorists, gangs or other people with bad intentions.”
Regarding the second objection, any firearm lawfully imported into the United States would eventually be sold by a Federal Firearm Licensee who, pursuant to the background check system imposed by Congress (and endorsed by the NRA) would have to contact federal or state law enforcement to verify that the gun buyer is not prohibited from possessing firearms.
Accordingly, the risk that the South Korean surplus guns might fall into the hands of gangsters or other bad people is exactly the same as with the sale of any other retail firearm in the United States. Notably, neither the M1 Garand nor the M1 carbine are concealable, and the M1 Garand is long, heavy, and bulky. Accordingly, the criminal utility of such guns is relatively low.
The second Obama administration objection is accidents. But in fact, increasing gun density in the United States has been associated with steeply declining rates of gun accidents. In 1948 there were .36 guns per person. (That is, about one gun for every three Americans.) By 2004, there was nearly one gun for every American. In 1948, there were 1.6 fatal gun accidents per 100,000 persons. By 2004, the rate had fallen by 86%, so that there were .22 fatal accidents per 100,000 persons. (For underlying data, see Appendix B of my amicus brief
Legally, it is indisputable that the guns are importable. Being over 50 years old, the rifles are automatically “Curios and Relics
” according to federal law. 27 CFR section 478.11. Accordingly, they are by statutory definition importable. 18 USC section 925 (e)(1). Notwithstanding the law, the Obama administration has the ability to pressure the South Korean government to block the sale of the guns.
President Obama was elected on the promise that he supported individual Second Amendment rights. His administration’s thwarting of the import of these American-made rifles is not consistent with that promise.