(Joshua Krause) Beginning in 1903, Congress voted to create the Civilian Marksmanship Program, with the intention of familiarizing the public with military firearms. It was founded at a time when the Army was switching over to bolt action rifles, and they wanted to ensure that members of the public would be proficient with these new weapons, should they ever be drafted in wartime. The CMP still exists today, providing training through a series of clubs in every state, and selling vintage military firearms.
But a new provision to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act might add new firearms to the list of weapons currently sold. As of now, the CMP is authorized to sell rifles like the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine, but should this provision pass, the military may be obligated to sell 100,000 untraceable M1911 pistols to the public. As expected, the usual suspects at the Huffington Post are hyperventilating over this possibility.
The US Army is also in opposition to the bill. They’ve tracked over 1,800 Colt .45’s that have been used in crimes over the past decade, and they’re concerned that if they release these surplus pistols, they may fall into the hands of criminals. Still, the weapons will only be sold to members of CMP clubs who are eligible to own firearms (as in, no felonious record). Freedom loving Americans will surely be pleased to see something useful come out of the NDAA for once.