Va. collector squares off with his home country over rare, World War II rifle
Of all the weapons in his personal collection, Kristopher Gasior always cherished the wz.38M Maroszek rifle the most. The gun — one of only a handful in the world — came from Poland, his home country, and it was produced in the war that claimed his grandfather’s life.It's an interesting argument, and I can't entirely disagree with their line of thinking. Since Poland was never a declared enemy of the US, the "bringback" laws don't apply. Since the rifle was property of the Polish Army, it's essentially that they're reclaiming property that was taken from them. Whether a USGI brought it back or not is immaterial, the Polish government claims; it was never eligible for status as a bringback.
But Gasior was not the only one with an interest in the military artifact. The Polish government views the Maroszek as a “great piece of cultural and scientific significance.” When Gasior, who had decided to sell most of his large collection, listed the weapon for sale on his Web site, Poland had U.S. federal agents seize it, arguing it had been stolen from the government during World War II.
Here's the rifle in question:
(picture from WaPost article)
Now, to me, it looks like an amalgam of the Remington Model 11, the M1 Garand, and the BAR, with a few unique elements thrown in like the vaguely PSL-ish long barrel with bayonet lug. Certainly an interesting weapon, and one that any collector of WWII vintage military hardware would salivate over. Now, the funny part here, to me, is that we have a genuine "assault rifle" - magazine-fed, semi-automatic, etc. - from 1938.
Mr. Gasior wanted $65K for the rifle, which is open to debate as to whether that's too much or not. For something as rare as this rifle, I'm inclined to think he's not being overly greedy, especially when he's got nearly $10K - in 1993 dollars - already invested. Of course, now it seems as though he'll get exactly jack and squat for it - since it's been seized by Homeland Security (anyone wanna explain THAT to me?), it's gone. I'd be shocked if it wasn't already in a museum in Poland.
I guess it's good that my milsurp collection consists of an old Turkish Mauser, two Mosin Nagants, and a Mannlicher Carcano...
That is all.