July 18, 2017
The United States House of Representatives has just passed their version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and included within it is a provision that will mandate the release of all M1911 handguns currently in US Army inventory to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, for distribution to eligible US civilians. The new bill would overwrite the 2016 NDAA, which allowed for the release of 10,000 of the pistols, but did not mandate it. The text of Section 1064 of the 2018 NDAA is as follows:
SEC. 1064. TRANSFER OF SURPLUS FIREARMS TO CORPORATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF RIFLE PRACTICE AND FIREARMS SAFETY.
(1) by striking “(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may transfer” and inserting “The Secretary shall transfer”;
(2) by striking “The Secretary shall determine a reasonable schedule for the transfer of such surplus pistols.”; and
(3) by striking paragraph (2).
Although the 2016 NDAA allowed for the release of 10,000 M1911 handguns via a pilot program, its provisions did not mandate their transfer to the CMP, and the administration at the time reportedly blocked their release. The 2018 NDAA’s provisions would terminate the pilot program, and instead mandate the release of all surplus M1911 handguns to the CMP via the Secretary of the Army, striking paragraph 2 of section (h), which currently reads:
If this bill passes the Senate – and right now, odds look quite good that it will be – then we could see the transfer of thousands of surplus M1911 handguns to the US civilian market via the CMP. Although these guns are likely to be well-worn, they still could have considerable value as collector’s pieces, inexpensive shooting irons, and workpieces for customization.
More details on the bill, and comments made by its sponser Rep. Rogers from Alabama, is available via an article at Guns.com.