Tester introduces bill aimed at allowing antique gun re-importation, sales

Senator’s legislation would allow American-made firearms abroad to be re-sold to U.S. collectors

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester is introducing legislation to allow American-made guns that were given or sold to a foreign government to be re-imported and sold in the U.S.

Tester’s Collectible Firearms Protection Act comes days after he pushed the U.S. State Department to reconsider a decision denying the proposed sale of surplus M1 Carbines and Garand rifles from South Korea to qualified American buyers.  Many collectors consider the firearms antiques.

Under Tester’s new bill, firearms that are lawfully possessed by a foreign government—and that are more than 50 years old and considered antiques or relics—may be re-imported to properly licensed groups and sold without written permission from the U.S. Departments of State or Defense.

“When we’re talking about American guns used to defeat the Nazis in World War II, we’re talking about a piece of America’s heritage—not a threat to public safety,” Tester said.  “If a decision isn't going to be made to allow the responsible sale of these firearms to law-abiding Americans, then we need legislation to get it done.”

Senator Max Baucus is a cosponsor of the bill. 

“This bill is about putting good, plain common sense into practice,” Baucus said. “These guns are pieces of history that tell the American story, and law-abiding citizens ought to have the right to purchase them legally.”

According to a news report, the State Department rejected South Korea’s proposal to sell its surplus of American-made M1 Carbines and M1 Garand rifles to U.S. buyers over concerns that the firearms “could potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes.”

Tester rejected that reasoning, writing in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that, “Rejecting the responsible sale of legal firearms over hypothetical concerns that they could be used for ‘illicit purposes’ sets a dangerous precedent and it is contrary to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.”

The Collectible Firearms Protection Act is available online, HERE.