Gun Control has claimed 41 new victims. Fortunately, it did not claim any lives—just jobs. Century International Arms has been working to bring about $30 million worth of M1 Garands back from Korea. The timing of the announcement is ironic with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the fact that these arms are 70 years old. Although exported to Korea, any of these historic arms could have just as easily made its way to the battlefields of Normandy, Germany, Italy or other parts of the Europe.
However, the White House has refused to allow Century International Arms to bring our history home. It seems the World War II-era arms have fallen victim to new rules the President set up last summer. Regarding the subject previously the White House has stated, “The two common-sense ‘executive actions’ are solidly aimed at keeping firearms out of the wrong hands.” I can only surmise that means the hands of law-abiding citizens and participants of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). Really, when was the last time you heard of a street thug packing an M1? The deal with the South Korean government goes back over a year—before the executive action. At that time, both the Department of State and Department of Justice had given the South Korean government its blessing to go ahead with the preliminary deal.
Today, the President has once again proven his willingness to subvert the other branches of government by using the power of his “phone and pen.”
In a May 20 letter, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) of Vermont and Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) said, “This lawful pending retransfer agreement is important to Vermont’s economy and crucial to more than 200 Vermonters who are employed by Century Arms. Accordingly, we ask your assistance to return the retransfer request to the Department of State without object so that it may move forward through the importation process.” The letter went on to show that the M1 rifle has not been produced for more than 50 years, citing the M1 as a historically valuable and collectible firearm that is provided to citizens through the government-chartered Civilian Marksmanship Program, which provides gun safety and marksmanship training. The letter reminded the Administration that the M1 was specifically exempted from a proposed 2013 Assault Weapons Ban. “This proposed exemption reinforces the fact that these are collectible firearms not the target of law enforcement concern.” However, to date, the White House has been unmoved by allowing policy to overrule practicality or common sense. President Obama’s administration said the policy, with very few exceptions (such as museums), is intended to keep “military-grade firearms” off the streets. The British Brown Bess, French Charleville and Kentucky Rifle were once military grade as well, but many years have passed since the Revolutionary War—just as many decades have passed since the M1 was “military grade.”
The result is the loss of opportunity for thousands of law-abiding Americans to own a piece of history. The loss of the arms, work and revenue has also caused Century Arms to layoff 41 workers as a result. Even if the administration does not care about the historical value, at least it could show some empathy to those who are losing their job due to White House politics.
Just think of the war vets who would have had the opportunity to walk down memory lane holding an M1 or the youngsters who would have had the chance to shoot a piece of history. The importation could have been a huge shot in the arm to the Civilian Marksmanship Program and its emphasis on teaching gun safety. Instead, the politics of the anti-gunners and a lack of common sense application dominate the White House.