This Thursday, the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act was approved, including a plan for transferring the remaining stock of .45 ACP M1911 pistols from the U.S. Army to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
The decision was added as an amendment, with an aim to speed up the transfer of potentially the largest remaining stock of military surplus World War II handguns to the public. The immense legislation, which outlines $700 billion in overall defense spending, cruised to closing approval on a voice vote in the US Senate and now heads to President Trump.
“I call upon the President to sign this important legislation into law—and in doing so acknowledge that this is the level of defense spending necessary to meet current threats, prepare for the challenges of an increasingly dangerous world, and keep faith with our men and women in uniform,” stated the Armed Services Committee chairman – Sen. John McCain.
Passing the budget spending cap by $85 billion, this bill includes purchases for more F-35 and F-18 fighters as well as more Littoral Combat Ships, which could explain a sticking point.
The bill directs the Secretary of the Army about these M1911 handguns headed to the CMP, to conduct a two-year pilot program who will transfer “not less than 8,000 surplus caliber .45 M1911 /M1911A1 pistols” in 2018 with a cap of no more than 10,000 transferred per fiscal year. After finishing this period, the program should be reviewed to ensure all these guns sold by CMP are in accordance with relevant federal laws and evaluate its cost to the Army.
Two years ago, President Obama signed the FY16 spending bill into law, authorizing the US Army to send up to 10,000 of their surplus 1911s to the CMP while a one-year pilot program, though none of them was transferred.
Till today, besides the fact that pistols were ready to transfer, and CMP was eager to receive them and start selling them to the public, they are still in a holding pattern with the military while spending about $2 per gun/year, to store the surplus weapons.