Tens of thousands of M1 Garand rifles and even more M1 Carbines lay in storage somewhere in South Korea. Originally shipped to the Asian nation several decades ago to help equip their military, the weapons are now outdated on the modern battlefield. Among collectors and enthusiasts however, they are held up as invaluable pieces of American history and ingenuity. Stocks of the rifle within the U.S. are fast dwindling (if not depleted already) and those who want to get their hands on one are looking across the Pacific.

Those in favor of returning these firearms home have been trying for years to import the surplus rifles and carbines. The South Korean government was eager to offload the rifles for much needed funds, but efforts to ship the rifles back were blocked repeatedly on the U.S. end due to security concerns. Those against the import say that the firearms could be purchased by individuals for illicit purposes. Gun advocates say that was no reason to ban the import of the rifles.

“Any guns that retail in the United States, of course, including these [M1 Garands], can only be sold to someone who passes the National Instant Check System,” David Kopel, research director at the conservative Independence Institute, told Fox News in 2010. “There is no greater risk from these particular guns than there is from any other guns sold in the United States.”

In 2012 it seemed that the federal government reversed its decision and will be allowing the M1 Garands to come home, along with a limited number of carbines. The plan was for the firearms to be auctioned off and imported to the U.S., where they will be sold through the Civilian Marksmanship Program. Reportedly, the State Department delayed the import and now will not allow the rifles to enter the country. Frustrated over the situation, U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) recently introduced a bill to counter the State Department’s decision.

“It’s disappointing that legislation is even necessary to allow U.S. citizens to access perfectly legal and regulated firearms, in this case storied, U.S.-made rifles that are pieces of U.S. military history,” Rep. Lummis said. “This is a political stunt on the part of the State Department, pure and simple, while denying the exercise of Second Amendment rights by law-abiding citizens, firearm collectors, and competitive marksmen. The State Department has no business blocking domestic firearm ownership; they are way out of bounds and my legislation will put them back in their place.”

A release on the congresswoman’s website read:

On Tuesday U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo) introduced H.R. 2247, the Collectible Firearms Protection Act. The bill reverses a State Department decision to block the importation of historic M1 Garand rifles and M1 carbines from South Korea. Originally furnished by the United States to South Korea for military purposes over 50 years ago, the rifles are widely sought collectors’ items and among the most popular rifles in marksmanship competitions. The rifles are perfectly legal to manufacture and sell in the United States and like all firearm imports would be subject to the federal rules and regulations governing retail firearm sales. A similar sale from South Korea was approved during the Reagan Administration. The current State Department’s interference with the sale runs counter to the intent of Congress, which on two prior occasions amended the law to allow for this kind of transaction.

Thanks to The Truth About Guns for highlighting this bill.

Image from user Curiosandrelics on the Wikipedia Commons

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32 thoughts on “Bill May Allow Korean M1 Garand Rifles to Finally Return to the U.S.

  1. Thank you Rep. Lummis, you have my respect. I’m glad somebody in office finally has a backbone. I’m a CT resident. Too bad we don’t have someone like you representing us.

    1. Right on Oz. Had to remove all firearms from my girl friends home in CT. All were brought back from Germany at the end of WW11.

      BTW, I think I know you. Does CDROM ring a bell???

  2. Truly, thanks! I believe the democrats, being led by the president, has been shunting the bringing back of the Garands as a willful thumbing of the nose to conservatives. This is quite childish because I would bet many democrats would like a part of American history also. It would be so nice if out “leaders ?” would think of the people, not just of their selfish dictates.

  3. My time in the military was spent carrying the M-1 Garand. I would love to be able to acquire one again.

    Did the State Department ever express the basis for not allowing these U.S. made rifles back into the U.S.? (Other than ‘This Administration doesn’t want them to come back in?)

  4. We need vote out of office barack hussein obama & the rest of the democrat criminals in our country or we will hear the goose step obama army in our streets just like Germany did in the 1930s & 1940s.

  5. Thank you U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo) for introducing H.R. 2247!!! God bless you & God Bless America!!! We need more representatives like you!!! I can’t wait to buy an M1 Carbine.

  6. Thank you Rep. Lummis. HR 2247 is just a common sense measure but not from the “common sense” liberals who don’t know the meaning of common sense because they don’t have any !

  7. If they ever see our shores, they likely won’t be sold through the CMP. That program is for materials returned to the US Army from other countries; the Koreans and talking about SELLING their rifles, not “returning” them, so they would go to an importer, not the CMP.

    1. They were given to the Koreans as defense items, therefore MUST be returned to the US Army, which would release them to CMP.

      That may be part of the holdup, if the Koreans are wishing to sell US weapons to the US that gave them to them.

  8. This is for “Bob in Florida”. There are ways to obtain M 1 Garands. Contact the GCA, the Garand Collectors Association. You can purchase an M-1 from them. You need to follow their instructions to get a rifle from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). As I understand, there is a long waiting list but if you want to pay more of a premium, I believe you can obtain a better quality firearm. The one I bought in 2009 was a beautiful specimen and appeared to be unfired. I don’t know if it was refurbished or not but it was perfect, including the wood.

  9. They also have a nice supply of M1911 pistols they want to sell back as well. I would love to buy a piece of history.

  10. The thing is, there is no need for any legislation in this matter! The M-1 conforms to even the new and ridiculous eight round magazine (in fact, the M-1 has no magazine!), and your 2nd amendment rights allow you to own one without constraint!

      1. The M1 Garand uses a en bloc clip not a magazine as many may think. The South Korean Government is in violation when they attempt to sell the rifles back to the USA Goverment. The Rifles We’re Lent To The Koreans through the USA Lend Lease Program. Greece who were also under This program returned their equipment. These rifles weigh 9-10 pounds and 37 1/2 inches which precludes an individual from being interested in trying to walk down the street with it. Yet the weapons of our so called enemies are imported by the millions.

      2. There were two ways the ROK got US made weapons. One was by loan, the other was by purchase. Problem is, nobody kept the paperwork straight so no one knows who really owns which gun.

  11. Outdated?

    I beg to differ.

    One of the great American icons, I am not sure if it will ever be outdated, and if it is, I fear the weapons that made it so.

    Bring’em home where they belong.

    1. Ludicrously outdated, and third rate at best, 75 years later. Materials, science and engineering have far surpassed the 1930s, and anyone who believes otherwise is placing whimsy over reality.

      They are, however, serviceable American weapons and deserve to come home.

      1. Really?

        This rifle is far more capable that the standard issue current military arm at any extended range beyond 400 meters. I know of people who regularly utilize these rifles in current high power matches and do very well. One would be far from being under gunned or under armed on any battlefield with a Garand. Fast, reliable, accurate and powerful….sometimes ‘old’ doesn’t become outdated. they may be heavy, but that alone doesn’t make them incapable and for sure, not third rate.

        You have to be the first person I have ever heard of that actually labeled a Garand “third rate”, have you ever actually seen or fired one? I didn’t know that if a rifle wasn’t made form plastic and aluminum it became so useless. I guess I am now far smarter and will never utilize a wood and steel weapon if faced with an enemy shooting back me.

      2. I own 2 Garands. They are as accurate as anything out there. They can reach out a lot farther than an AR-15 and still have a punch when it gets there. You sir have obviously never shot a Garand.

  12. The M1 Garand rifle is one fine semi-automatic. I have owned one in the past and would love to become an owner once again if the price drops with the import of these from South Korea. I appreciate the Congresswoman for her efforts.

  13. Good job Representative Lummis. You likewise have my respect and appreciation. Come to WA state… give us someone other than these useless Maria Cantwell and others who I hate to see running our state. We need someone like you

  14. Thank you for going forward with this bill: Our current administration: powers to be, and I am not refering to our elected state rep’s, but there are many in power positions that have no Idea what our constitution is all about. The M1 and Carbine’s in question really need to be returned to the United States, to insure there safety, and the American people’s safety. To prevent them from being placed into the wrong hands. CMP is an organization, that was put in place by our government, by elected officals of our government. To perform this exact function! I am a vet, and I seriously wonder about the direction our country is heading in. Nov 2 2013

  15. I’m so sick of having to haggle with politicians for our right as citizens. God bless the Congressman, but we shouldn’t have to bow and scrape to the government for what is ours. A US importer should go get them and sell them in America toot suite. If they still belong to us, let America import them and sell them. They obviously belong to someone and should be available to taxpayers. To act as if this piece of history is somehow more dangerous than your average deer rifle is ludicrous. I have a M1A1 with a 20 round mag and nobody kept me from buying it. An AK is about the same as a 30.30 and they have a cat over that weapon. Having said all that, I have a Garand and love it and would like a couple more for family members.

  16. This doesn’t take a ‘backbone’! Now, DOING something to the State Department Officers who are obstructing the Congress – THAT would take ‘backbone’. Some years ago anyone could buy these through the mail directly from the Feds as part of the organized militia support.

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