Still, it's encouraging to know they will be available and not destroyed like the gun grabbers would want.
The upcoming National Defense Authorization Act that passed committee includes a plan to transfer the U.S. Army’s remaining stock of .45 ACP 1911A1 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
Added as an amendment by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, while the NDAA was in debate in the House Armed Service Committee, it could see potentially the largest remaining stock of military surplus World War II-era handguns in government hands sold to the public.
“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,” Rogers said in a statement.
The lawmaker disclosed that the military currently spends about $2 per year to store 100,000 Model 1911s that are surplus to the Army’s needs. While 8,300 have been sold or disposed of in recent years – largely through the controversial Department of Defense’s 1033 Program, which offers eligible law enforcement agencies up to one pistol per full-time officer – the guns still on hand have in many cases been stored since the 1980s when they were withdrawn from service in favor of the then-new Beretta 92F (M9).
The amendment would authorize the CMP, currently just limited to selling .30-caliber and .22-caliber rifles, to receive and sell any surplus military firearm. It would not cover any surplus 1911s held by other branches such as the Navy and Air Force, or those that may linger in federal law enforcement service. The Army guns are stored at the Anniston Army Depot, in a district which Roger’s represents and is coincidentally co-located to the CMP’s regional warehouse and store, which would minimize the logistics of a transfer.
“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.
The CMP is a federally chartered non-profit corporation tasked with promoting firearms safety training and rifle practice. It originated as the Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship in 1903 under orders from Congress to improve the country’s marksmanship skills to minimize training in case of war. Split off from the U.S. Army under the Clinton-administration in 1996, it still conducts training courses and holds shooting competitions nationwide but draws its primary source of funding through the sale of surplus firearms to qualifying members of the public which were donated to the organization by the Army.