GOP Rep Pushing for Civilians to Get Surplus Military Handguns

AP Photo/George Frey
AP Photo/George Frey

Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL-3rd Dist.) is pushing to allow civilians to acquire surplus military handguns the same way they acquire surplus military M1 Garand rifles: namely, through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP).

The CMP has been around for decades but has been making M1 Garands available to civilians since 1996.

According to, Rogers wants to open CMP to military handguns as well, so that Americans can acquire 1911 pistols if they so choose. He is doing this through an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

His amendment passed on a committee vote and is expected to come up on the floor later in May.

Rogers said:

As a gun owner and strong believer in the Second Amendment, my proposal is a common-sense approach to eliminating an unnecessary cost to the Federal government while allowing the very capable CMP to handle the sale of these vintage firearms that otherwise would just sit in storage. This amendment is a win–win for the taxpayer. I was pleased the amendment passed the committee and appreciate the support my colleagues on this proposal.

In addition to the benefits civilians would derive from getting the guns, Rogers points out that storing the old handguns is costing taxpayers “around $200,000 a year.” So, transferring them would save quite a bit of money.

CMP COO Mike Johnson thinks Rogers’s push is a good idea. He said, “We are every pleased with that legislation, it basically changed one word in our enabling legislation, it changes the word rifle to firearms. That would give the Army the ability, if it passes, to send us pistols and shotguns.”

The Huffington Post erroneously reported that Rogers’s proposal would be put “100,000 untraceable guns on the streets.” But in reality, the handguns would be sent from storage to Federal Firearm License holders who would then require that civilians pass a background check before being allowed to take the guns home.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly


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