President Trump has signed into law H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA). There is a provision included in the law that would require surplus military M1911/M1911A1 pistols to be made available for sale to the American public. Currently, there are 100,000 M1911s that would be affected by this law.
President Obama in 2015 authorized but did not require, the Secretary of Defense to transfer up to 10,000 surplus 1911s per year to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for sale to the public. No transfers were made during his administration but that is expected to change.
The language in the 2018 NDAA effectively establishes a mandatory pilot program under which at least 8,000 – and as many as 10,000 –1911s would be transferred to the CMP for public sale in 2018. The Secretary of Defense must then report to Congress on the outcome of the program. Thereafter, the Secretary would be authorized to continue transferring up to 10,000 surplus 1911s a year to the CMP for further such sales.
Despite the typical heated (and inaccurate) rhetoric from gun control advocates, the CMP pistols sales will utilize a variety of safeguards that exceed even the normal procedures the organization has used for years to distribute surplus military M1 Garands, M1 carbines, and .22 rimfire trainers.
For example, the pistol sales may only occur through a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) in the purchaser’s state of residence, who of course will be obligated to obey all state and local laws of the point of sale. Sales records allowing for the tracing of the firearms – should they later be found at a crime scene – will be kept both by the CMP and by the transferring FFL. Furthermore, the buyer must receive the pistol from the FFL in a face-to-face transaction at the FFL’s business premises. Pistols will not be provided directly to the buyers by the CMP.
There will be two background checks made for each transaction. one by the CMP prior to shipping the pistol to the specified FFL and another by the FFL before releasing the pistol to the customer at the FFL’s place of business. No timeline for release or pricing information is currently available.
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