On November 25th, 2015, President Barack Obama has signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016, included in which is a provision for the Civilian Marksmanship to sell 1911 handguns to the United States shooting public. The bill includes Section 1087, which allows the transfer of handguns from the United States Army to the Civilian Marksmanship program, and the subsequent distribution of those handguns to members of CMP-affiliated clubs.
UPDATE: We have publishe a video on the subject:
The full text …
SEC. 1087. TRANSFER OF SURPLUS FIREARMS TO CORPORATION FOR
(a) AUTHORIZATION OF TRANSFER OF SURPLUS FIREARMS TO CORPORATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF RIFLE PRACTICE AND FIRE- ARMS SAFETY.— (1) IN GENERAL.—Section 40728 of title 36, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
THE PROMOTION OF RIFLE PRACTICE AND FIREARMS SAFETY.
‘‘(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 require-
ments 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.’’.
(2) TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—Such title is further amended—
(A) in section 40728A—
(i) by striking ‘‘rifles’’ each place it appears and inserting ‘‘surplus firearms’’; and
(ii) in subsection (a), by striking ‘‘section 40731(a)’’ and inserting ‘‘section 40732(a)’’; (B) in section 40729(a)—
(i) in paragraph (1), by striking ‘‘section 40728(a)’’ and inserting ‘‘subsections (a) and (h) of section 40728’’; (ii) in paragraph (2), by striking ‘‘40728(a)’’ and inserting ‘‘subsections (a) and (h) of section 40728’’; and
(C) in section 40732—
(i) by striking ‘‘caliber .22 rimfire and caliber .30 surplus rifles’’ both places it appears and inserting ‘‘surplus caliber .22 rimfire rifles, caliber .30 surplus rifles, and caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 surplus pistols’’; and
(ii) in subsection (b), by striking ‘‘is over 18 years of age’’ and inserting ‘‘is legally of age’’; and (D) in section 40733—
(i) by striking ‘‘Section 922(a)(1)-(3) and (5)’’ and inserting ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in sub-section (b), section 922(a)(1)-(3) and (5)’’; and
(ii) by adding at the end the following new sub-
section: ‘‘(b) EXCEPTION.—With respect to firearms other than caliber .22 rimfire and caliber .30 rifles, the corporation shall obtain a license as a dealer in firearms and abide by all requirements imposed on persons licensed under chapter 44 of title 18, including maintaining acquisition and disposition records, and conducting background checks.’’.
(b) PILOT PROGRAM.—
(1) ONE-YEAR AUTHORITY.—The Secretary of the Army may carry out a one-year pilot program under which the Secretary may transfer to the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety not more than 10,000 firearms described in paragraph (2).
(2) FIREARMS DESCRIBED.—The firearms described in this paragraph are surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols and spare parts and related accessories for those pistols that, on the date of the enactment of this section, are under the control of the Secretary and are surplus to the requirements of the Department of the Army.
(3) TRANSFER REQUIREMENTS.—Transfers of surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols from the Army to the Corporation under the pilot program shall be made in accordance with subchapter II of chapter 407 of title 36, United States Code.
(4) REPORTS TO CONGRESS.—
the Secretary initiates the pilot program under this sub-
section, the Secretary shall submit to Congress an interim report on the pilot program. Secretary completes the pilot program under this sub-
section, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a final report on the pilot program. this subsection shall include, for the period covered by the report—
(A) INTERIM REPORT.—Not later than 90 days after
(B) FINAL REPORT.—Not later than 15 days after the
(C) CONTENTS OF REPORT.—Each report required by
(i) the number of firearms described in subsection
(a)(2) transferred under the pilot program; and
(ii) information on any crimes committed using firearms transferred under the pilot program.
(c) LIMITATION ON TRANSFER OF SURPLUS CALIBER .45 M1911/M1911A1 PISTOLS.—The Secretary may not transfer firearms described in subsection (b)(2) under subchapter II of chapter 407 of title 36, United States Code, until the date that is 60 days after the date of the submittal of the final report required under subsection (b)(4)(B).
This is a huge deal. Never before has the Civilian Marksmanship Program been able to sell handguns to the U.S. shooting public, and the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act with this provision in it signals a major change in the way firearms are viewed by the U.S legal system, similar to how Heller vs. D.C. affirmed the right of self defense for United States citizens. Handguns previously have been viewed as weapons of crime, or otherwise indecent by those outside the shooting community, and were in earlier drafts of the 1934 National Firearms act actually included in the NFA registry along with machine guns. While this does only allow 10,000 firearms per year to be distributed through the CMP, it is to me a major milestone in that my government will finally trust me and other qualified citizens with surplus military handguns for our own use in marksmanship competitions and other activities.