This week the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the 2017 defense authorization act– but hidden inside its pages is a section that could destroy the military’s current stock of surplus rifles and pistols.

The Senate’s version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes some $602 billion in spending and despite President Obama’s threat to veto the annual policy measure over issues including a ban on closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison, saw widespread support, passing 85-13 on Tuesday.

While many have noted the measure includes such items as requiring females to register for the draft beginning in 2018, others have been lost in the almost kafkaesque layers of the bill.

Buried inside the 678-page Senate Armed Services Committee reporting of the NDAA is Section 331, entitled “Repurposing and reuse of surplus military firearms,” recommending a provision to transfer excess firearms held by the Army to the Rock Island Arsenal to be repurposed for military use as determined by the Secretary of the Army.

The committee further recommended the transfer of M-1 Garand and .22 caliber rifles held by the Army at Anniston Army Depot or by the Navy at their facility in Crane, Indiana, to be used as trophies in marksmanship competitions that are held by the Navy or the Marine Corps, and not to be resold.

In final markup, the bill kept the original recommendations in Section 311 and added a few more including a provision ordering that, within 90 days of the bill becoming law, the…

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