CMP Will Be Able To Sell Surplus 1911s If Obama Signs The Bill

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

An Excellent Proposal

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) represents the 3rd District of Alabama. Within that district sits the Anniston Army Depot, the CMP-South sales and administrative operations, and the new CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park. Given that parts of Ft. Benning and Maxwell-Gunter AFB are also in his district, it is not surprising Rep. Rogers sits on the House Armed Services Committee. He is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces and is a member of the Readiness Subcommittee which handles much of defense budget.

Rep. Rogers has come up with a budget saving idea that warms my heart. Currently, the Department of Defense spends about $200,000 annually to store approximately 90,000 M1911A1 pistols. Rogers is proposing that these pistols be transferred to the CMP and offered for sale. He made an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 on this proposal and it was passed.

“As a gun owner and strong believer in the Second Amendment, my proposal is a common-sense approach to eliminating an unnecessary cost to the Federal government while allowing the very capable CMP to handle the sale of these vintage firearms that otherwise would just sit in storage. This amendment is a win – win for the taxpayer. I was pleased the amendment passed the committee and appreciate the support my colleagues on this proposal,” Rogers said.

Currently, the Army stores excess M1911A1 pistols, which used to be the standard U.S. Armed Forces sidearm, until it was replace by the Berretta 9mm pistol. Besides the 8,300 pistols that have been sold to law enforcement and transferred to foreign countries for a small price, the rest of the M1911A1 pistols are now being held in storage costing the taxpayer around $200,000 a year.

Transferring these vintage pistols to the CMP would allow them to inspect, grade, prepare for sale and sell these pistols. The CMP would reimburse the Army for costs associated with transferring the pistols. CMP South, headquartered in Anniston, Alabama, oversees sales. CMP North is headquartered in Camp Perry, Ohio.

 WTVM 13 in Birmingham has more on the story here.

I agree with the congressman that this is a win-win. Now I need to rejoin a CMP-affiliated club and get on their approved rolls in order to purchase one of these (and perhaps a Garand or two).