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No, this bill doesn’t prevent you from collecting firearms. Not even your wife can do that. It’s a federal bill filed in response to the State Department’s ban on the importation of South Korean M1 Garand Rifles. As I’ve mentioned previously, U.S. gun rights groups’ hue and cry over the Obama Administration’s blockade on the South Korean surplus weapons is WAY out of proportion to their actual or theoretical importance. There’s probably an American gunmaker somewhere yanking someone’s chain to prevent a flood of cheap rifles into the U.S. market. Or something . . . Anyway, this an election year!

One in which pro-gun pols are pals with the gun-clinging Tea Partying powers-that-be. So why not introduce a bill to remove the State Department’s “authority to deny legal firearms to law-abiding citizens”? ‘Cause that should be the Justice Department’s responsibility, apparently.

This from the press release from U.S. Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) introducing H.R. 6240, the Collectable Firearms Protection Act.

“These firearms have historical value, are legal, and their importation is already highly regulated by the Justice Department. There is no basis for State Department involvement. This is not about diplomacy or foreign policy — this is a domestic issue and a Second Amendment issue,” Lummis said.

Nor is it a matter of collectibility, methinks. Calling 857,470 examples of a particular gun “collectible” is to bestow the same honor on say, Happy Meal toys. No wait, Happy Meal toys are collectible. Nearly a million Garands, not so much.

While I wait for collectors to argue against rarity defining collectibility, I managed to call Loomis’ office and get a copy of the bill. (It’s not on the official government website yet.) Click here to download it.

If I read this right (and we, as citizens, are not supposed to read legislation never mind understand it), HR 6240 would also remove the Defense Department from the yes/no weapons importation decision. Is that such a good idea?

And what’s this? The Bill would also highlight and delete the Department of State and the Department of Defense’s ability to collect “any of the proceeds of the transfer of such firearms by the person to the importer.’’

Flipping that around, does that mean that the Department of State and the Department of Defense currently get a pay-off from “collectible” weapons imported into the U.S.? Maybe the ban’s just a negotiating ploy (i.e. extortion) for cash money.

Politics, eh? Anyway, who wants to take a bash at defining collectible?

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  1. It's nice to see that there are so many gun-friendly members of congress, but I wish they would spend their time and influence doing something more useful. They could start by passing a federal statute requiring all states to honor the 'Privileges and Immunities' clause of the Constitution, particularly as it applies to concealed carry permits, hunting licenses, and the purchase of firearms outside of one's home state.

    I used to own an M1 Garand that had been reimported from Korea, and I don't think a pile of them is worth anyone's lather.

  2. I knew a guy once who collected Pez dispensers…. waste of time IMHO, but I don't presume to dictate to anyone what they may or may not collect nor establish standards to define what is a legitimate collectible. The resistance to the Department of State over this is that previous importation from Korea and other countries of the same style and vintage of weapon was not blocked. While I don't much care for the radicals of either party, there is a lot of support among moderates for common sense. Trumping up excuses to justify new blocks on reimportation of curio and relic firearms from a US ally is politics, not common sense.

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