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As we noted earlier, the market for used 1911s is about to get an infusion of 200,000 new (used) guns. The bill that authorized that will also let military base commanders to allow service members to carry firearms. Here’s the NRA’s press release:

Fairfax, Va. – President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It includes several NRA-backed provisions — expanding gun rights on stateside military bases; prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from banning traditional ammunition; and saving taxpayer dollars by allowing gun collectors to buy vintage military surplus pistols . . .

The NDAA includes an NRA-backed provision requiring the Secretary of Defense to establish a process for commanders at military bases, reserve centers, and recruiting centers to allow service members assigned to that base or facility to carry a firearm.  After the July murder of four Marines and a police officer at two Tennessee recruiting centers, the NRA called for a policy change to allow military personnel to carry weapons while on station. This NDAA provision is a good first step in the effort to fully restore the Second Amendment rights of military personnel.

“The brave men and women in our Armed Forces should not be left defenseless against terrorists on American soil. Local commanders now have the authority to allow service men and women to be armed while on base. Members of the military should have the same ability to defend themselves as every other law-abiding citizen,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action.

Another NRA-backed provision in the NDAA prohibits the EPA from banning traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This provision is necessary because extreme anti-hunting groups have filed multiple petitions with the EPA to ban the use of lead ammunition. Those petitions have been rejected, but those groups use the administrative rejections as an excuse to sue the agency in pursuit of the same restrictions.

“Prohibiting the EPA from banning traditional ammunition is a huge victory for hunters, recreational sportsmen and our military,” said Cox. “This ensures that our military, hunters and sportsmen will have access to traditional ammunition at a reasonable cost.”

The NDAA also includes a cost-saving provision that allows the U.S. Army to transfer its surplus vintage firearms to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for public sale. Currently, the Army stores excess M1911A1 pistols in a warehouse costing taxpayers approximately $200,000 a year. Transferring these vintage pistols to the CMP will allow them to inspect, grade, and ultimately sell these pistols through federally licensed firearms dealers.

“The NDAA puts an end to the wasteful government practice of warehousing firearms.  It’s a common sense measure that saves taxpayers money and allows gun collectors to add a sought after vintage sidearm to their collection,” added Cox.

“The enactment of these common sense, NRA-backed provisions into law is a result  of the American people electing a pro-Second Amendment majority to the United States Congress. On behalf of our  members, I want to thank all those lawmakers who stood firmly on the side of freedom, ” concluded Cox.


Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at NationalRifleAssociation and on Twitter @NRA.

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  1. While it is surprising to see the President sign this, I will be more surprised to see ANY base commander allow carry on base. Commanders can downplay the remote risk of a terrorist attack, but commanders will get burned when the first ND on base happens if they allowed carry.

    • The base near me used to have clearing barrels at every building entrance. You’d get a write-up if you put the muzzle in and pulled the trigger and it went bang. Reinforced competency at clearing your weapon and safe handling. Then arming troops on base was banned and the barrels went away.

      To me not arming troops is like not giving a bus driver a bus. Glad to see we’re slowing down our trajectory past Orwell towards Kafka.

      • I’d like to know what else was in the bill. I smell some horse trading going on in order to pass some other liberal b.s. garbage. The NDAA seems scary already but what do I know? Either way, looks like a win for NRA though

        • My first thought exactly and born out by later comments. Heck, I wonder if they found out what was in the bill before they passed it. ?

    • The biggest obstacle will be the old guard, though. Encouraging change within the military brass has always been difficult, for they did not get where they are because they proposed new things.

    • In the late 60’s I was stationed at a base where an NCO committed suicide on base with a pistol he kept in the barracks. After that the base commander instituted a regulation requiring that all firearms owned by base residents be kept in the custody of the base police.

  2. Wow, good to see Barry do the right thing for once. We know where he stands on our gun rights, but credit where it is due.

    • The pro-Second Amendment provisions were part of a much larger bill. I very much doubt if the former Joyce Foundation board member was pleased for them to become law.

    • Hear, hear. Reagan signed the Hughes amendment into law; if we give him a pass for that then we need to give Big O an attaboy for signing this.

  3. ‘‘(2) The Secretary may not transfer more than 10,000 surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols to the corporation during any year and may only transfer such pistols as long as pistols described in paragraph (1) remain available for transfer.’’.

    Under this administration? Zero is “not more than”. Or suddenly they’ll all need “maintenance” and until that “maintenance” is complete [never] they will not be available for transfer.

    In other words, don’t hold your breath.


    • And even at the full quantity, it would take 20 years to transfer the 200k referenced in the article’s text.

  4. It’s not going to happen. Look at the bill as written, it’s peppered with the use of the word “May” and lacks the use of the word “Shall” and “Will”. The Sec. of Army is not going to transfer any 1911s to the CMP. Also, the CMP would need to first get an FFL, which would have to be approved by the ATF – not going to happen any time soon. Then, there’s the whole 1 year trial period – which will expire before any 1911s are transferred to the CMP and the CMP gets an FFL.

    This is nothing to celebrate or cheer, it’s just an illusion.

    • I dunno if anything has changed, but the CMP office at Camp Perry in 2002-2007 was selling Garands and 1903s like they were candy, along with lots of .30-06 and .308, .45. etc. I think they have all the permits they need to sell guns. What makes you think they haven’t held a FFL for the past 50 years, or even if they need one as a government entity?

      • CMP already has an FFL or rights to act as an FFL because they’ve been selling guns for years. The real questions are how many will they get at a time, how much will they cost, and if its’ only 200,000 how long until they’re outright gone. This isn’t the old years of millions of Mosin Nagants won’t dry up, this is a time in which millions of mosins did dry up, sks cost more than AK’s, and enfields are non-existent.

        • You two should really read the relevant section of the NDAA. The CMP was exempt from the FFL requirement. this is clearly explained on the CMP’s website:

          As section SEC. 1087 of the NDAA is written:

          ‘‘(b) EXCEPTION.—With respect to firearms other than caliber
          .22 rimfire and caliber .30 rifles, the corporation shall obtain a
          license as a dealer in firearms and abide by all requirements
          imposed on persons licensed under chapter 44 of title 18, including
          maintaining acquisition and disposition records, and conducting
          background checks.’’.

          So, if the Sec. of the Army actually transfers the 1911s, only 10,000 may be transferred and the CMP must get an FFL and abide be all requirements found here:

          So, to sum it up. No, you’re not going to be getting a surplus 1911!

          Please guys, read the bill. You won’t be doing any victory dance.

        • Exactly Johhny, The reality is that this is capitulation theater, nothing more.

          There is no victory, just some unenforceable “mays”, “cans”, with no “musts” that are in our favor. There’s 50 ways that this will never happen, and I’m in for a c-note that it won’t.

  5. It’s a big bill with many bits. Obama signed it only because he knew the NDAA wasn’t going to get any better for him if he sent it back again.

    • Yep, just like many bills that get sent to the President. I doubt very much he read the whole thing before he decided to sign it.

  6. Aren’t most of these pistols pretty much shot to hell? I used to hear that even most of the ones issued seemed like they were about to fly apart. I don’t know if there’s any practical way to “re-armor” them like they do with a Garand. If the frame or slide are shot, they’re shot.

    • Yeah many were pretty shot out. I imagine there were some that just sat for decades and are in pretty decent shape. So…grading will be pretty important!

  7. I don’t expect anyone (with the possible exception of off duty MP’s) to now be carrying on military bases. However, I think a system needs to be put in place to enhance base security by placing more guns in strategic hands. But that does not mean everyone’s hands. Before anyone yells at me for “BUT THE 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS OF SOLDIERS!” you have to remember, on a military base, the security of the mission, the gear, and the soldiers are paramount (and prioritized in that order). Neither hippies nor soldiers have the 1st Amendment right to protest on a military base, nor should they.

    If I were running the show, I would make a few changes. People would be able to carry personally owned side arms (either open or concealed) if they are the same caliber as ammunition that is readily available on the base they’re stationed (this means either 9mm or .45). This is important because, in a big emergency, they can be resupplied. It also reduces the possibility of the moron who wants to carry his range queen .50 AE weapon.

    People who want to carry would have to be approved by their OIC.

    Believe it or not, not all armories are open 24/7. Therefor, the personal weapons would be held by the individual at all times. To prevent mishaps, those who are approved to carry may have to sign a statement of understanding that they are no longer allowed to drink alcohol on base. Or maybe have it added to the UCMJ that no one is allowed to drink while carrying arms.

    I have 4 years experience in the Marines and I’ll be happy to discuss this with anyone who replies.

    • Scott, I agree that the military is given a much wider berth than the government in general to abridge the rights of military members and other personnel on military installations. However, the presumption should always be that a person maintains his individual rights, and those rights can only be abridged if the government demonstrates a military necessity for doing so. The government should always have the burden to prove this, and not be allowed to rest on its laurels and say, “Mission comes first, so…you can’t carry a weapon.”

      First Amendment rights are the same. Military members maintain their First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech, etc. Those rights are only curtailed in specific instances (e.g., wearing the uniform to a political rally) where the military has proven a negative impact to its mission.

    • If you want to permit individual carry anyway, why not just issue everyone (subject to the same approval etc) the standard carry piece? You’re a soldier, weapons are tools of your trade.

  8. Permitting something is far different than requiring something. Under Democrat rule, I do not expect to see many bases, if any, that allow military members to tool up — especially not the enlisteds. And I don’t expect more than a token number of surplus M1911s to be released to the CMP.

  9. Thanks NRA. Now take all those millions of dollars in donations you’re sitting on and do something about reversing the NJ conceal carry ban.

  10. Political posturing, nothing more.

    There’s an end game to this and doesn’t envolve more guns.

  11. If a base commander won’t issue weapons out to people,they could at least put a weapons locker and at least a few loaded weapons in the duty hut of every barracks and building on base so they’re easily accessible in case of emergency. The duty takes charge of the key and issuance in case they’re needed.

    • Nah, that’d be pretty useless. The service members working space could be miles away from the barracks. Also, if you’re in the barracks and someone is shooting at you, your guns are only three flights of stairs away.

      If you need something to deal with a split second situation, it has to be on your person for the most effective use.

  12. Like many of you, I’m not holding my breath that The Annointed One (TM) will actually ever authorize the DoD to send any 1911’s to the CMP, nor am I especially sanguine that many base commanders will buck the CiC’s preferences here.

    Making it unambiguous that the EPA can’t try and back door an ammo crackdown, OTOH, is very good news indeed. I believe I’ve seen a number of anti-gunners who have been braying about that being one mechanism that could be used to end-run Congress, so preemptively eliminating it in a “must pass” bill was smart.

  13. The EPA, pushed hard by HSUS and other anti-hunting/gun groups have been trying to weasel a lead ammo ban for years.

    This is freakin’ huge.

    • The EPA refused to ban lead ammo on many occasions, was sued by “environmental” groups on many occasions, and won every time.

      • Until such time as the administration decides to take a dive on such suits, as they’ve done in other contexts involving outside groups collusively “suing” the EPA. The instant statutory language makes such an maneuver pretty much impossible by eliminating the alleged ambiguity in the law that the outside groups have been using.

  14. Does California still get to ban lead ammo leaving only what the ATF says is illegal armor piercing ammo?

    • CA can and will do whatever the hell it wants to do. The National Defense Authorization Act is Federal and the ammo part only affects the EPA.

  15. I’d like to see a favorable outcome. However, I was stationed at Ft. Hood for both recent shootings, and both CG’s would never allow the carry of weapons for any reason. Even acting as the task force we were not allowed live ammunition. It would be like parking in the CG’s spot at Clear Creek with the thought of “It will be fine” someone else said i could.

    “Local Commanders” very vague, I can tell you there is no 03 that will say go ahead guys you can carry while risking an unfavorable OER, not that they want to rush into an S shop, but still good luck with that. If it means a base CG you would have more luck finding them wearing a speedo and a stetson for morning formation.

    • Sounds like we need new base commanders that actually value the lives of the men and women under their charge.

  16. Does anyone else get that warm, fuzzy feeling when they read the phrase “common sense” used in a way that actually makes sense?

  17. It’s still up to base commanders to approve anyone to carry. Essentially, this makes the bases “may issue” instead of an outright ban. Well.

    Think of any of the slave states like RI, NY, NJ, MD, CA, etc. and their may issue schemes. Base commanders will never approve, because the president doesn’t approve, and you’ll never carry there.

    This is an empty gesture that changes nothing. This merely codifies in law the power and discretion the president already has. It’s the same exact power and discretion he has held for seven years and refused to use! This just lets him claim that he’s reasonable and not completely anti-gun, while the GOP and NRA can claim to their members a “victory” over Obama.

    No credit due. No accolades owed. No smarmy, sentimentality, breezily wondering whether this lawless gun grabbing fascist might really not be that bad after all. If this empty suit of a president and horror of a human being is not that that bad, then it’s only because he’s even worse.

  18. I bet that in order to qualify for any sale, you’re going to have to jump thru a huge number of new hurdles and be registered as well.

  19. The NRA used the term “common sense…law” and it was actually about a good thing. I don’t know what to do with that.

  20. The law reads that the Sec. of the Army MAY transfer. It doesn’t say SHALL transfer. How many transfers do you think an Obama appointed Sec. will allow? 0, thats how many.

    Not later than December 31, 2015, the Secretary of Defense, taking into consideration the views of senior leadership of military installations in the United States, shall establish and implement a process by which the commanders of military installations in the United States, or other military commanders designated by the Secretary of Defense for military reserve centers, Armed Serv- ices recruiting centers, and such other defense facilities as the Secretary may prescribe, may authorize a member of the Armed Forces who is assigned to duty at the installation, center or facility to carry an appropriate firearm on the installation, center, or facility if the commander determines that carrying such a firearm is nec- essary as a personal- or force-protection measure.

    This is why this will never happen:…”if the commander determines that carrying such a firearm is necessary as a personal- or force-protection measure.” The commander will always determine that it’s not necessary for military personnel outside of law enforcement responsibilities. I hope I’m proven wrong.

  22. Does not matter to me. I still have to disarm before going to the PX and commissary at Ft. Campbell. I am a veteran with a CCW from Indiana and I have to travel the depth of Kentucky un armed because the base commander is afraid I might go Asiatic on base. Constitutional carry should be our goal, not half-measures.

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