Military Surplus Weapons Could Hit Civilian Streets In America Thanks To NDAA


The National Defense Authorization Act re-authorization will hit the House Armed Services Committee for a vote this week. Currently in the Rules Committee, amendments are being considered, including one added by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.). The amendment changes parts of the Act that govern the selling of surplus military arms (specifically rifles) to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). While many have taken issue with the NDAA over “indefinite detention” some of those same naysayers are likely to applaud this measure if adopted into the final draft. On the other hand, there will also be those who will decry this move as unnecessary and risky, putting “military-grade” firearms on the street. So, what does this amendment actually do? Will surplus rocket launchers and belt-fed machine guns be flooding the streets? Not exactly.

Colt Model 1911A1 U.S. Army .45 ACP - G.H.D. Inspected Serial Number 1121296 Paul Krokovic Collection via

Colt Model 1911A1 U.S. Army .45 ACP – G.H.D. Inspected Serial Number 1121296 Paul Krokovic Collection via

The current NDAA provision allows for the selling of surplus military rifles to the non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, Civilian Marksmanship Program. The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U. S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and airguns through gun safety training, marksmanship training and competitions, especially our youth who all too often learn about firearms from less than reputable sources like movies and video games. Rep. Rogers’ amendment will expand the available firearms from just rifles to include .45-caliber semiautomatic M1911 handguns as well. The same caliber SEMI-automatic 1911 that you can buy at any gun store today, except that these were originally military issue sidearms. If the amendment passes with the NDAA re-authorization, it could potentially make 100,000 military surplus 1911s available for the CMP to purchase for their training and marksmanship program. They would also be able to resell those not needed for training to CMP members. Some have claimed that this would put “untraceable handguns” into circulation, however CMP follows all federal and state laws regarding the sale of firearms, including NICS background checks, stated licensing and permit requirements and FFL transfers were required by the state.

In a white paper prepared for Congress the U.S. Army and DOJ expressed concerns about the expansion of the marksmanship program and the inclusion of the 1911 handguns. Specifically, the Army is concerned about loss of accountability of weapons after transfer to CMP; expanding the scope of CMP’s mission to include handguns; and the potential negative impacts on public safety from the large amount of semi-automatic and concealable pistols that will be released for public purchase. However, without a national database and firearm registration, the same could be said for practically every gun sold in America today. The DOJ concerns were equally unconvincing, citing public safety, which is boiler plate form letter for anything gun related, and traceability (again, boilerplate form letter concerns). However, the DOJ also expressed concerns regarding Gun Control Act (1968) compliance that could potentially derail the amendment. CMP is not a Federal Firearms Licensee and is currently only authorized to acquire and sell, without GCA interstate controls, .22 caliber rimfire and .30 caliber surplus rifles, air rifles and accessories.

CMP History – In 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt and Congress established the National Matches and the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice to support the idea that marksmanship skills developed through regular practice and competition would contribute to the nation’s defense. When the program expanded to make its competitions and military support available to civilians, it became commonly known as the “Civilian Marksmanship Program”. As the U.S. Army’s interest in marksmanship diminished after World War II, CMP increased its focus on fostering youth development through marksmanship. For over 90 years the Army and Department of Defense administered the program until Congress created the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearm Safety, Inc. in 1996.

About the Author

Jon Britton
Joining the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, Jon had the opportunity to experience many different parts of the world and different cultures. His post military career path, both white collar and blue collar, allowed him to work alongside both CEOs and average Joes. "Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion." A passion that has taken him in many directions from explorations of the zombie subculture and writing zombie stories to politics and News. He is an avid "people watcher," political junkie and has a ravenous appetite for history and current events alike.

16 Comments on "Military Surplus Weapons Could Hit Civilian Streets In America Thanks To NDAA"


  2. When. How can I get one. I’m on disability and don’t have a lot of money. I have a cwc in the state of Wisconsin.

  3. Avatar Robin Toot | May 14, 2015 at 1:45 pm |

    How would I go about to get one of them government m1911 45acp pistoles?? I would love a piece of history.

  4. Avatar jerome shean | May 14, 2015 at 3:37 pm |

    Just wanted to know how I could get my hands on some of these guns in in same boat as at her guy low income disabled. Need guns and lots of a no love to teach my kids and grandkids the look on there face the first time thay pull the trigger is priceless

  5. Avatar elwin gilchrist | May 14, 2015 at 3:39 pm |

    Would love to have one. Carried one for years in the Army, and I loved it.

  6. Avatar Gene Morley | May 14, 2015 at 4:28 pm |

    How do you get one of these?? Probably hasn’t changed too much since my pre and post military days. 1. needed to be a member of a D.C.M. associated shooting club, most State clubs qualify and large majority of local clubs will too. 2. (might have changed) shoot in a sanctioned match, rifle or pistol, that means an official N.R.A. sanctioned match, not just a few of your buddies shooting cans in the desert. Local clubs with junior members used to get .22 ammo, and 30carbine ammo. O6 ammo was available to senior clubs for shipping costs or pick up at one of the ammo depot’s around the country. Check it out, local clubs can be a great start for kids, starting young as 10 yrs. We started them out on air rifles then air pistols and graduated to .22 rifles then 30 carbine. my 2 cents

  7. CMP’s charter comes from congress. By adding a word it can do just that. The army and the DOJ have no say after they are told. The Charter itself tells the DOJ to sit down and shut up as it allows CMP to mail the firearm directly to the receiver except if not permitted by the state.

  8. I would be interested in the 45 as well as the 30 caliber rifles and 22 caliber weapons I do enjoy marksmanship programs as well as my children enjoy learning to shoot

  9. Count me in, I’d like one, or maybe two.

  10. I would love to get a Military Issued Colt M1911, can you get any information as to how someone could obtain one or even get on a waiting list for any excess that they might have after transfer?

  11. Avatar CesarCruz | May 15, 2015 at 10:35 am |

    I would love to get a military Iissued colt m1911 an well as 30 caliber rifles ! Someone could obtain one !

  12. As an avid hunter and sportsman I would be interested in th he 1911 45 a and ammo. So let me know how.Thanks a bunch.

  13. Avatar David Jones | May 15, 2015 at 5:38 pm |

    I would want a m1 gar,and a 45

  14. i would like several how do you get one

  15. Avatar Greg Beals | May 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm |

    I, like everyone else here, would absolutely LOVE to have a U.S. Army M1911! I love handguns although I may never own a Colt as they’re just too expensive for me to own. It’s really too bad Colt is going out of business!! If anyone has any information on how I can get one or be put on a waiting list to get one please contact me on how I can get one. Thank you!

  16. Avatar George Q. | May 18, 2015 at 10:14 pm |

    Would love to have one. Carried one in the Army for years. Let me know how I can get one.

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