I reported back in May that Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) had proposed that the Civilian Marksmanship Program be allowed to sell surplus 1911 pistols. Currently, it is costing the Department of Defense approximately $200,000 annually to store them.
The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2016 with Rep. Rogers’ amendment in it. However, the version passed by the Senate did not contain the provision authorizing transfer of these pistols to the CMP. Given this and other differences, the NDAA FY 2016 had to go to a conference committee to iron out the differences.
In what can only be considered a win, the Senate acceded to the House’s wishes and agreed to a pilot program.
Transfer of surplus firearms to Corporation for the Promotion of
Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety (sec. 1087)
The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1085) that
would authorize the transfer of surplus firearms to the Civilian
Marksmanship Program (CMP).
The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.
The Senate recedes with a clarifying amendment that
establishes a pilot program limited to .45 caliber handguns and
restricts the amount of handguns that can be transferred to the
CMP to no more than 10,000 units annually. Additionally, it
requires the CMP to provide a report to Congress after the
conclusion of the pilot program, obtain a federal firearm
license to conduct any and all handgun sales, and adhere to all
local, state, and federal laws in respect to handgun sales.
It’s a start.
The conference report was sent to both houses on September 29th. The House voted 270-156 to accept the conference report on October 1st. This past Wednesday, October 7th, the Senate likewise voted to accept the conference report by a vote of 70-27.
Going over the list of senators who voted for and against the conference report you see some oddities. For example, notoriously anti-gun Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) voted for the conference report. Conversely, pro-gun rights Republicans like Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) voted against it. That said, I imagine their votes had nothing to do with the CMP provision and everything to do with other things within the NDAA FY 2016.
I do have one caveat: the bill still must be signed by Barack Obama. I have not kept up with the politics of this bill to see whether he plans to sign or veto it.
I have no idea what the cost will be or the condition of the surplus 1911s. That said, I think it is time for me to start assembling my CMP qualification portfolio and join a CMP club like the Garand Collectors Association. If you are a member of the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation, you qualify as it is a CMP-affiliated club.
H/T Rob Reed