President Obama last week signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 into law, which, among other pro-gun reforms, will allow the Civilian Marksmanship Program to sell surplus Army .45s.
Setting spending policy for $612 billion in funds for the Department of Defense, the “must-pass” bill had been vetoed by the president last month but was pushed through Congress by veto-proof 91-3 and 370-58 margins in the Senate and House respectively, earning a nod from the White House on Wednesday.
The byzantine bill, with hundreds of amendments tacked on and subsequently modified or stripped away during its legislative process, included several pro-gun sections in its 584 pages of proposed public law in its final version. Among these is a proposal originally offered by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., which could see potentially the largest remaining stock of military surplus World War II-era handguns in government hands sold to the public through the CMP, a federally chartered non-profit corporation tasked with promoting firearms safety training and rifle practice.
In May, the lawmaker disclosed that the military currently spends about $2 per year, per gun to store 100,000 Model 1911s that are surplus to the Army’s needs. While 8,300 have been sold or disposed of in recent years – largely through the controversial Department of Defense’s 1033 Program, which offers eligible law enforcement agencies up to one pistol per full-time officer – the guns still on hand have in many cases been stored since the 1980s when they were…