Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, sponsored legislation to compel the State Department to allow the importation of 857,470 lawful M1 semi-automatic rifles into the United States. The rifles were relics from the Korean War, which are being sold by South Korea in an effort to raise money for its military. These rifles would be made available to the public as well as to museums and historical societies.
"Whether it's importing legal rifles or blaming legal firearms sales for the violence of Mexican drug criminals, this State Department has appointed itself as the spearhead of regulatory gun control in America," said Rehberg, a member of the Second Amendment Task Force. "Americans should not apologize for our freedom. We shouldn't feel bad for insisting that our government respects our rights. And we absolutely should not be allowing the Administration to restrict the importation of legal guns on the whim of an anti-gun bureaucracy."
In its decision to block the importation of these rifles, the State Department claimed that the M1's "could potentially be exploited... for illicit purposes." Possession of these firearms by Americans is lawful, and purchasers would have to be approved through the National Instant Check System used for all domestic firearms purchases.