Via the Volokh Conspiracy, comes news that the Obama administration has banned the importation of about 100,000 M1 Garand and M1 Carbine rifles from South Korea.
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 and Carbine 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.
Korea was equipped with the Garand and the Carbine during the Korean war with weapons from US war stocks. They held them in war reserve after reequipping with more modern weapons.
Now, the administrations purported objections are pretty stupid on their face. The Garand and the Carbine have been popular with civilian shooters here in America literally since the day WWII ended. Heck, even I owned a Garand.
So the question in my mind is “what’s going on?” And I see three possible answers. First, a mid level bureaucrat is just being stupid. That’s always a realistic possibility. Second, we are seeing the default anti-gun stance of the Obama administration. I think that has some influence here, but may not be the whole story. Indeed, the Clinton administration banned the re-importation of M1s.
The other option might be that the reflexive anti-business stance of the current administration is at work. The objection that these weapons are just itching to get into the hands of terrorists is just laughable. First, what terrorist wants one? There are plenty of legally available weapons that might better be suited for terror. Second, these same weapons are available for sale. Today. By no less a dealer than the United States Government. Really.
So maybe, the administration just doesn’t want any competition…