On Tuesday, President Trump signed into law H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA)—yada, yada, yada… The military currently has about 100,000 1911s just sitting in storage and costing the taxpayers money to store them. H.R. 2810 requires military surplus M1911/M1911A1 pistols (1911s) to be made available for sale to the American public! To be fair, President Obama signed a similar order. However, Obama’s order left the transfer to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) optional. However, neither Ash Carter nor Eric Fanning decided to commit political suicide by making it happen under President Obama.
H.R. 2810, on the hand, solves that problem by making the transfer mandatory.
H.R. 2810 starts with a pilot program that will transfer between 8,000 and 10,000 1911s to the CMP for sale to the public. The Secretary of Defense, currently Gen. Jim Mattis, will then report the outcome of the program to Congress. The Secretary of Defense is then authorized to continue transferring up to 10,000 1911s per year for sale to the public through the CMP.
All pistol sales will occur through a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) in the purchaser’s state of residence, who will have 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. This is different than the way M1s were distributed, but conforms to current firearm conventions. However, the process will go beyond current regulation due to certain enhancements.
The CMP has further indicated two background checks will be conducted in connection with each sale. The first will be conducted through the CMP prior to shipping the pistol to the specified FFL. The second will be conducted through FFL before releasing the pistol to the customer at the FFL’s place of business. Another variance from the process we are used is demonstrated by the fact that while federal law allows an FFL to transfer a firearm three days after a “delay” response by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the CMP will only transfer the firearm to the FFL if NICS provides a “proceed” response to the first background check.
Those wishing to acquire one of the surplus 1911s must be U.S. citizens, eligible to receive firearms under federal law and the laws of their places of residence, members of a CMP-affiliated club, and able to provide proof of participation in a marksmanship activity. Only one 1911 will be available to each customer per calendar year.
Once 10,000 orders are received, the CMP will assign a random number to each customer. These customers will be contacted in sequence with the grading and pricing options that are then available. No timeline for release or pricing information is currently available.
This is another major victory for gun owners under the Trump administration. The NRA released a statement stating its thanks and appreciation to thank Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) for their leadership in this historic effort.
As soon as further details or release dates become available, The Shooter’s Log will pass them along.