September 2nd, 2010

Obama Administration Blocks Korean M1 Garands & M1 Carbines

Last week we reported that plans by South Korea’s Ministry of Defense to sell surplus M1 Garand and M1 Carbine rifles had been halted because of objections raised by officials in Washington, DC. To raise money for its defense budget, the Korean Defense Ministry hoped to sell 86,000 M1 Garands and 22,000 M1 Carbines to American collectors. Originally the import program enjoyed a green light from Washington, but now sources within the Obama Administration have confirmed that the U.S. State Department is blocking the importation of these old firearms. Curiously, the State Department now claims the Koreans planned to import a much larger number of firearms, 87,310 M1 Garands and 770,160 M1 carbines.

Yesterday, reported:
The Obama administration approved the sale of the American-made rifles last year. But it reversed course and banned the sale in March[.] A State Department spokesman said the administration’s decision was based on concerns that the guns could fall into the wrong hands. “The transfer of such a large number of weapons — 87,310 M1 Garands and 770,160 M1 Carbines — could potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes,” the spokesman told

Is the U.S. State Department inflating the number of arms to be imported as a scare tactic? Hard to say… getting solid answers about the Obama Administration’s opposition to the Korean import program has been difficult. explained: “The State Department spokesman referred questions to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. ATF representatives said they would look into the question Monday afternoon, but on Wednesday they referred questions to the Justice Department. DOJ spokesman Dean Boyd referred questions back to the State Department.” Sounds like a shell game….

South Korea M1 Garand M1 Carbine

Some gun bloggers have reported that the M1 Garands and M1 Carbines are not eligible to be returned to the USA and sold to American collectors given the military aid agreements under which the rifles were provided to Korea originally. Whether that is the case is unclear. The rifles are all over 50 years old, so they would qualify as Curious and Relics, which normally could be imported, absent other restrictions. says the M1 Garands and M1 Carbines are in a class of arms that require U.S. State Department approval before they can be shipped back to the USA and sold here. Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist, says there are no definitive legal restrictions blocking the return of these arms to the United States, or forbidding their re-sale to collectors. Instead the Obama Administration is simply carrying out a “a de facto gun ban, courtesy of Hillary Clinton’s State Department.”

CLICK HERE to read full story on Korean Gun Import Ban