December 19th, 2017

New Law Mandates Civilian Sales of Historic M1911 Pistols

CMP NRA-ILA 1911 surplus military pistols
Photo courtesy NRA-ILA.org

Report by NRA-ILA
Last week, President Trump signed into law H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA). Included in the law is a provision long sought by collectors of vintage firearms and militaria that would require military surplus M1911/M1911A1 pistols (1911s) to be made available for sale to the American public. The military currently has some 100,000 excess 1911s sitting in storage at taxpayer expense.

A previous version of the NDAA signed into law by then-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. Unsurprisingly, no such transfers were ever made while Obama remained in the White House.

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 [more] surplus 1911s a year to the CMP for further public sales. READ More about CMP Sales of Vintage 1911 Pistols on NRA-ILA.org.

CMP NRA-ILA 1911 surplus military pistols

The Process to Acquire a Military 1911 Pistol
Sales of the surplus 1911 handguns will be handled a bit differently than most other CMP firearms transfers for M1 Garands, M1 Carbines and other vintage rifles. All transfers must go through a local FFL in a face-to-face transaction. In addition, there will be two background checks of the purchaser before the gun can be transfered. The first check is done by the CMP prior to shipping the pistol, while a second check is done by the FFL before releasing the pistol to the customer at the FFL’s place of business. Customers will be limited to one 1911 pistol per calendar year.

Additional CMP Requirements
The CMP has a number of “threshhold” requirements for purchase of a surplus 1911. To acquire one of the CMP 1911s, you must be a U.S. citizens, eligible to receive firearms under federal law, and the laws of your city/state. In addition you must belong to a CMP-affiliated club, and able to provide proof of participation in a marksmanship activity.

CMP NRA-ILA 1911 surplus military pistols

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November 29th, 2015

Army Authorized to Transfer M1911 & M1911A1 Pistols to CMP

m1911 m1911a1 Pistol Army CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program

It’s official — the U.S. Army is now authorized to transfer surplus M1911 and M1911A1 .45 ACP pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for later sale to the public. This development was the result of language in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed by President Obama on November 25, 2015.

Section 1087 of the 2016 NDAA authorizes the CMP to sell surplus M1911/M1911A1 pistols and related parts/accessories to the public. This is a boon to gun collectors and should help the Army save money on storage for the 100,000 or so M1911 pistols it now stores at the Anniston (AL) Army Depot, near the the CMP’s regional warehouse and store.

Don’t expect an immediate flood of .45 ACP pistols on the market. The Army is not allowed to transfer more than 10,000 pistols per year, and the CMP says it will take a year or more to inspect/grade the pistols and ready them for sale. With roughly 100,000 pistols in Army hands currently, these guns could be available from the CMP for a decade or more. NOTE: This change in Federal law does NOT apply to surplus handguns held by the U.S. Navy, USAF, USMC, or federal law enforcement agencies. In addition, the NDAA does not compel the Army (at the behest of the Secretary of Defense) to commence pistol transfers. That must still be ordered by the Secretary.

Relevant Language from the 2016 NDAA:

‘‘(h) AUTHORIZED TRANSFERS.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may transfer to the corporation, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this subchapter, surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols and spare parts and related accessories for those pistols that, on the date of the enactment of this subsection, are under the control of the Secretary and are surplus to the requirements of the Department of the Army, and such material as may be recovered by the Secretary pursuant to section 40728A(a) of this title. The Secretary shall determine a reasonable schedule for the transfer of such surplus pistols. ‘‘(2) The Secretary may not transfer more than 10,000 surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols to the corporation during any year and may only transfer such pistols as long as pistols described in paragraph (1) remain available for transfer.’’.

Writing for Ammoland.com, gun expert Dean Weingarten expressed a wish that the language in the NDAA was more open-ended: “I would have thought that the wording could simply have been changed to include surplus ‘pistols’ not just 1911 and 1911A1s. Then surplus .22 caliber trainers, 9mm pistols, and .38 caliber revolvers would also have been available. Perhaps this is the best that the NRA felt [it] could get from this President.”

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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