While President Barack Obama launched the pilot program in 2015, expect President Donald Trump’s critics to make a big deal over the president releasing military-grade pistols to the public.
The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act includes an amendment permitting the U.S. Army to move its stock of .45 ACP M1911A1 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, Guns.com reported.
The $700 billion defense spending bill awaits President Trump’s signature.
The gun enthusiast site noted that the retired World War II-era handguns are costing the military an estimated $2 per gun, per year, to store.
More on the details of the release from Guns.com:
On the handguns headed to the CMP, the bill instructs the Secretary of the Army to conduct a two-year pilot program that 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. The program would then be reviewed to ensure the guns were sold by CMP in accordance with applicable federal laws and evaluate its cost to the Army.
In 2015, President Obama signed the FY16 spending bill into law, which authorized the Army to send up to 10,000 of their estimated 100,000 surplus 1911s to the CMP during a one-year pilot program, though none were transferred.
Bearing Arms’s Tom Knighton wrote about the excitement over the guns being made available to the public.
“I can’t speak for the gun community as a whole, but I’ve noticed a great deal of excitement for these pistols from my social circle, and I don’t actually associate with that many who consider themselves collectors,” Knighton wrote.
“They want these pistols as shooters, and I’m right there with them,” he added. “I’m not even a particular 1911 fan, but one that’s potentially seen service with this country, keeping our beloved nation free? Yes, please!”
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