Thursday, September 2, 2010

Team Obama Backs Away From Antique Firearms Sale

Candidate Obama said in 2008:

"I think there is an individual right to bear arms, but it's subject to commonsense regulation" like background checks, he said during a news conference. 

 What changed his mind?

Fox News had the story yesterday regarding the Obama administration's reversal of its earlier decision to allow the sale of 86,000 M1 Garand and 22,000 Carbines to American gun collectors.  As it turns out, the administration doesn't have so much confidence in "background checks" or other measures to guarantee that these collectible firearms do not end up in the hands of very bad people.  

The Volokh Conspiracy reported on this in mid-August, noting the historic aspect of the guns:

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. 

It's highly unlikely that these weapons would actually fall into the hands of drug dealers or terrorists any more than any other weapon can and unless the administration intends to ban all firearms then this decision doesn't make a lot of sense.

Collectors focused on historic military collectibles would have a treasure trove with these South Korean weapons which were used by American soldiers in the Korean War.  There are many collectors groups focused strictly on the M1 Garand alone.

Volokh looks at the legality of the sale:

But in fact, increasing gun density in the United States has been associated with steeply declining rates of gun accidents. In 1948 there were .36 guns per person. (That is, about one gun for every three Americans.) By 2004, there was nearly one gun for every American. In 1948, there were 1.6 fatal gun accidents per 100,000 persons. By 2004, the rate had fallen by 86%, so that there were .22 fatal accidents per 100,000 persons. (For underlying data, see Appendix B of my amicus brief in Heller.)

Legally, it is indisputable that the guns are importable. Being over 50 years old, the rifles are automatically “Curios and Relics” according to federal law. 27 CFR section 478.11. Accordingly, they are by statutory definition importable. 18 USC section 925 (e)(1). Notwithstanding the law, the Obama administration has the ability to pressure the South Korean government to block the sale of the guns.

 Fox reports that other administrations have dealt with this issue before:

The Clinton administration blocked sales of M1s and other antiquated military weapons from the Philippines, Turkey and Pakistan. It also ended the practice of reselling used guns owned by federal agencies, ordering that they be melted down instead.

In contrast, 200,000 M1 rifles from South Korea were allowed to be sold in the U.S. under the Reagan administration in 1987.

But, since candidate Obama professed concern for the Second Amendment and expressed faith in  those legal protections such as background checks, he should, in fact, allow these collectible firearms into the American market.


Anonymous said...

Why would anyone want those old guns anyway? They might blow up and kill someone. I believe guns should be regulated by the government and people trained before being allowed to have them. To many shootings now.

G. R. said...

Obama and all gun hating liberals don't know their asses from a hole in the ground when it comes to firearms.
The M1 Garand and the M1 carbine, which was cutting edge technology when they were first introduced. They were semi-automatic (self-loading) weapons that were issued to American G.I.s, and allied soldiers, during a time when the world needed them most. Thank God for the Canadian named John Garand who designed the M1.
This cutting edge technology allowed the American soldier to outshoot the average German soldier who was armed with a bolt action K98 Mauser or the Japanese soldier with his bolt action Arisaka rifle. These were good weapons mind you, but they couldn't compare with the eight shot Garand, where all the American soldier had to do was pull the trigger, and as long as there were cartridges in the magazine, a bullet would come out of the end of the muzzle.
As a gun collector I've talked to the old timers who actually used these weapons in combat. Everyone usually praised the Garand, and a few would curse the carbine. To me, they are a things of beauty and a piece of American history. And I don't give two shits if libs like it or not. I spent my time defending this country, so I have a right to say what I'm saying. Like it or not. I don't care.
But with that said, the M1 Garand and the M1 carbine are obsolete and is a couple of generations removed from the weapons the military is using today. I don't think a terrorist or a criminal would want to use a weapon that has limited magazine capacity when you can get a fully automatic weapon like an M-16 that has a high capacity magazine.
Besides it's not the gun that's evil, it's the person who is using it for evil purposes who is evil. And what's more evil is the idiots who make excused for the evil idiot pulling the trigger.

For all the libs who think I'm evil for owning guns and believe guns think and act on their own let me assure you this. My guns are in a large safe, and they can't get out, because I won't give them the combination.

Red said...

"It's highly unlikely that these weapons would actually fall into the hands of drug dealers or terrorists any more than any other weapon can..."

It's not the criminals that the administration or Fed is concerned with. It's a responsible armed citizenry.

Charlene said...

I'm a liberal and I never fired a gun until I was 40 and dating a former Army Ranger. He thought I needed to know how to shoot and own a rifle and a couple of cute little 38's.

My mom owned some really nice antique shot guns her husband and father owned. She never shot them or learned to shoot them; neither did we girls. She sold them when she sold the farm at auction.

But now, this liberal owns some guns and can sure shoot them when needed because the former Army Ranger threatened to kill her and stalked her for over 5 years!

I think every paranoid freak gun lover needs to buy every single gun they can possibly buy and pay for. Guns don't scare me now. I know there are much worse things than a man with a gun. That would be a crazy man with a gun, and they don't wear a sign that says "I'm crazy."

G. R. said...


You are so right.

To this administration and the Fed people like me (Christian, law abiding, responsible gun owner, and military veteran) pose a huge threat to society.

In the mean time they ignore people who has repeatedly made threats of violence and eventually did threaten to kill people and try to blow the Discovery Channel headquarters? Wasn't he a Al Gore following moonbat who watched an Inconvenient Truth and believed The Discovery Channel was promoting the over population of the earth?

Hey! I do agree with Lee on one thing, Jon and Kate Plus Eight pissed me off, too.

Anonymous said...

More guns coming in only can equal more crime