Daniel Gallington, of the Potomac Institute, has published an article in the Cypress Times on the ownership of the controversial Korean M1 Garands and M1 Carbines that Korea is trying to sell back to US collectors. From the article …
So, I started looking around for some historical “proof” of what I knew was probably the case with these rifles – it didn’t take me long to find an official US Army historical report that confirms how these rifles probably got to Korea in the first place, and under what circumstances. Here is the “smoking gun” – no pun intended:
“Due to increased North Korean aggression and infiltration, the supply of Army materiel for the prior and current year Korean military assistance program has been expedited, including a shipment of large numbers of individual weapons to arm the Republic of Korea Homeland Defense Reserve Forces.”
Source: “Department of the Army Historical Summary, FY 1969”. Page 4 of Chapter XI., “Military Assistance and Foreign Liaison”.
So, most likely, the “large numbers” of these rifles (described as “individual weapons”) were transferred to the ROK to use for their defense during the 60’s; and, because they most likely were and still are MAP property, the rifles remain the property of the US – unless they were subsequently sold or otherwise transferred to the ROK.
What should happen? Simple, because these rifles remain US property, they should be returned to the US Army, then sent on to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) organization in Anniston, Alabama, for safety inspection, grading and carefully controlled sale to authorized collectors and American shooting clubs.