The supplies of M1 Garand rifles are slowly but surely dwindling from the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s shelves. That’s the government-run organization that distributes WWII era firearms to the population, promoting civilian marksmanship through its games as well as its cheap firearms. A stockpile of South Korean M1 Garand rifles have been sitting awaiting approval for U.S. importation. The State Department has finally gotten off its rear end and green-lighted their re-entry into The Land of the Free. The rifles had been in political limbo for decades . . .
Uncle Sam sold most of the M1s to the Korean government to help with the Korean War. Our own G.I.s left some of them behind when we pulled out. Obviously, the M1 Garands are woefully obsolete on the modern battlefield. Korea had been looking to unload these rifles on the U.S. market to pay for a much needed upgrade to their armed forces’ armories.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration blocked their importation, saying they could “potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes.” You could say the same thing about a Blackberry mobile phone but tons of those come in from China every year.
The Korean Times reports that new legislation passed by the U.S. has cleared the way for these guns to be imported into the United States via third party importers such as CAI. And here’s the kicker: they’re going to be sold as low as $220.
The sad part of the story: the 770,000 M1 Carbines also available for sale in Korea are still banned due to their ability to accept “high capacity detachable magazines.” Which is ridiculous; the CMP has been selling those exact same guns and magazines for decades and shipping them directly to U.S. Citizens without an FFL in between. Not even 922(r) should apply. The guns were made in the United States in the first place.
Such is the state of gun laws in the United States. At least we’ll soon see some cheap (well used) M1 Garand rifles on the market. I hope.