The U.S. government opposed South Korea’s bid to sell hundreds of thousands of aging U.S. combat rifles to American gun collectors, a senior government official said Thursday.
The ministry announced the plan last September as part of efforts to boost its defense budget, saying the export of the M1 Garand and carbine rifles would start by the end of 2009.
The U.S. administration put the brakes on the plan, citing “problems” that could be caused by the importation of the rifles.
The problems the U.S. government cited were somewhat ambiguous, said an official at the Ministry of National Defense on condition of anonymity.
“The U.S. insisted that imports of the aging rifles could cause problems such as firearm accidents. It was also worried the weapons could be smuggled to terrorists, gangs or other people with bad intentions,” the official told The Korea Times.
“We’re still looking into the reason why the U.S. administration is objecting to the sale of the rifles and seeking ways to resolve the problems raised,” he said.
Critics say the ministry pushed to sell the firearms in a hasty manner without enough consultation with the U.S. beforehand, as calls were growing to increase defense expenditure.
The Seoul government sought to sell the outdated U.S guns back to the United States.
A total of 86,000 M1 rifles and another 22,000 carbines were to be sold, as the weapons have been mothballed for about five decades in military warehouses. The per-unit price of the M1 rifle is about $220 and the carbine is more than $140, according to the ministry.
M1s were made first in 1926 and used in World War II and the 1954-1975 Vietnam War. The carbines were first produced in 1941 and used during the 1950-1953 Korean War.
Now some say it's because of the government.. as in this article... which I spare myself copying.. but then, if we all spread the word and would write to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, specifically at this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
asking for these rifles to come to market..
For those who don't know, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has the specific mission to promote firearms and marksmanship training for U.S. citizens with an emphasis on youth programs. This program provides firearms, most notably M1 Garands to affiliated CMP organizations. Additionally, it provides 22-caliber ammunition, air rifle pellets and BBs, which are suitable for youth firearms training and rifle marksmanship programs. I don't know who in the Congress or Senate does support this program (really?) but it seems that more recent laws on state (i.e. California's Ammo Bill AB962) and federal level and other active delays really try to have this program die a slow and agonizing death.. this could be one opportunity missed purposely by the administration..
Anyhow, getting these spare rifles to market would benefit on many levels it seems.
Just 2c from a non-citizen..