No Surplus of Absurdity

Second Amendment advocates, gun collectors and historians are angry and confused at the Obama Administration's decision to block South Korea's plan to sell more than 100,000 surplus M1 Garand and Carbine rifles in the United States.

The administration approved the sale of the American-made rifles last year. But it reversed course and banned the sale in March. The decision was largely unnoticed at the time, but spurred angst last month when a state department official cited what many agree are spurious reasons for the decision -- namely, the government feared the guns "could fall into the wrong hands" and "accidents."

"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 official told FoxNews.com. According to a South Korean official, 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.

Baloney, writes David Kopel in his Fox News blog.
"... Any firearm lawfully imported into the United States would eventually be sold by a Federal Firearm Licensee who, pursuant to the background check system imposed by Congress (and endorsed by the NRA) would have to contact federal or state law enforcement to verify that the gun buyer is not prohibited from possessing firearms," he writes. "Accordingly, the risk that the South Korean surplus guns might fall into the hands of gangsters or other bad people is exactly the same as with the sale of any other retail firearm in the United States. Notably, neither the M1 Garand nor the M1 carbine are concealable, and the M1 Garand is long, heavy and bulky. Accordingly, the criminal utility of such guns is relatively low."

The South Korean government was hoping to sell the antiquated rifles to American gun collectors, Korean War veterans, museums and other exhibits in an effort to raise money for its military.

Photo by: curiosandrelics