Allow South Korea to Return WWII Relics to the US
This petition made change with 62 supporters!
I started this petition because both of my grandfathers insisted on calling the M1 Garand "the rifle that won WWII". We can't afford to forget any aspect of that war, so physical reminders would go a very long way.
Back in 2013, the Obama Administration blocked a bill that would allow certain curio and relic rifles (abbreviated C&R, it is a classification for guns constructed fifty or more years ago) to be imported from South Korea back to their nation of origin, the United States. The vast majority of the rifles are either M1 Garands, an antiquated semi-automatic rifle that fires a popular hunting round from a non-removable magazine, or M1 Carbines, a slightly smaller variant of the Garand rifle that is designed to take a detachable magazine, but the magazine capacity is smaller than what is considered "high capacity" in modern gun control nomenclature. The M1 Carbine is also designed to fire a round that was considered "underpowered and unsatisfactory" even at the time of inception. Both rifle types were offered and delivered to South Korea in the lend-lease agreement, but they never used them and want to give them back because they're simply taking up a lot of space.
At the time of this writing, an M1 Carbine or Garand of quality similar to those that would be imported is worth around $2000, much to the dismay of both collectors and sport shooters.
We have accepted the return of a large group of these rifles in the 1990's, but many still remain in South Korea. The exact quantity of these rifles is unknown, but combined, it is expected to be roughly 100,000 rifles of either type. Many, if not all of these rifles will be given to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), as they are licensed to acquire and sell C&R firearms. The CMP is running very low on these rifles, which they use to teach gun safety and support local sport shooting organizations.
If these rifles are imported, they will no longer be only desired by collectors and veterans, but the estimated quantity of the rifles to be imported would allow the CMP to continue its efforts for many years to come.
The reason why these rifles were initially barred from import is because the M1 Carbine could take a detachable magazine, and the M1 Garand was blocked from import because of reasons unknown (to reiterate, the Garand is unable to accept a detachable magazine).
These rifles, which are now considered obsolete antiques, look and act like any modern hunting rifle. They do not have a pistol grip, muzzle device, or "high capacity" magazine. Neither of them were designed to be fully automatic, and are thus unable to be converted to fully automatic.
The ammunition for the Garand rifle is the 30-06 round, which is one of the most popular hunting rounds in the US, and not used in any modern or organized military.
The ammunition used in the M1 Carbine, the .30cal Carbine, is the same bullet size but with much less gunpowder, and is relatively expensive as it hasn't been used in many rifles since the creation of the round in the early 1940s.
Neither rifles have been used in crime in any significant amount, and neither rifles are sought after by criminals or those who wish to commit a crime.
A Korean government official spoke about the issue, saying, “It’s difficult to understand why the US opposes the deal now, when we already shipped tens of thousands of these firearms to the US in the early 1990s. We are trying to grasp the real underlying cause of this reversal through diplomatic channels.” He added that because these firearms were originally made in the US, selling them back needs approval from Washington.
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