Ever since the news broke that the CMP would be able to sell M1911 handguns to the shooting public, thanks to a provision in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, I have received a lot of emails and comments asking me “how do I qualify for the CMP?” Well, you’re in luck: Not only will I be walking our readers through the process, but it’s easier than you think!
My regular readers will know that I’m a fan of long, multi-part series that go in-depth into a historical or technical subject. However, don’t be fooled by the “Part 1” in the title; I intend to keep this series as short and sweet as possible, while still adding the detail you need to get qualified for the CMP. I’ve broken it into parts for your convenience, and so that those who want to buy rifles now do not have to wait for my full review of the CMP Service Grade M1 I have ordered. This first post will cover how to put together eligibility. I have already completed this process from top to bottom, and received on the day that I write this an email confirming that my eligibility has been validated and I am now on the list to receive a rifle.
The CMP does have on their website a list of requirements, but their explanations of what counts and does not count, and how to order can be vague, and much of the information you need is buried behind links on the CMP’s home page. You can follow the hyperlink here to reach the page you’ll need, but if navigating the website itself, scroll down and click the link called “SALES & SERVICES”, and once that page has loaded, scroll down again and click the link called “RIFLE SALES”. Then, scroll down that page to reach the tab labeled “ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS”. Now, you should be presented with a page with this text:
REQUIREMENTS FOR PURCHASE
By law, the CMP can sell surplus military firearms, ammunition, parts and other items only to members of CMP affiliated clubs who are also U.S. citizens, over 18 years of age and who are legally eligible to purchase a firearm.
PROOF OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP:
You must provide a copy of a U.S. birth certificate, passport, proof of naturalization, or any official government document (When using a military ID to prove citizenship, must be an E5 or above) that shows birth in the U.S. or states citizenship as U.S.
PROOF OF AGE:
You must provide proof of age. Usually proof of citizenship also provides proof of age. In those cases where it may not, a driver’s license is sufficient.
MEMBERSHIP IN CMP AFFILIATED ORGANIZATION:
You must provide a copy of your current membership card or other proof of membership. This requirement cannot be waived. The CMP currently has over 2,000 affiliated organizations located in many parts of the country. CMP Club Member Certification Form- If your CMP affiliated club does not issue individual membership cards, please have the club fill out the CMP Club Member Certification Form and return it with your order.
Membership in many of these organizations costs $25.00 or less and can be accomplished online. A listing of affiliated organizations can be found by clicking on our Club Search web page at http://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=clubSearch. If you have any difficulty in locating a club, please contact the CMP at 256-835-8455 or by emailing CMP Customer Service. We will find one for you. In addition to shooting clubs, the CMP also has several special affiliates. Membership in these organizations satisfies our requirement for purchase. These special affiliates include: Congressionally chartered veterans’ organizations such as the VFW, AL, DAV, MCL, etc. U.S. Military services (active or reserves), National Guard, to include retirees. Professional 501(c)3 law enforcement organizations and associations such as the FOP, NAPO, NSA, etc. The Garand Collector’s Association is a CMP Affiliated Club. You can download a Garand Collector’s Association Application Form.
Note: Club membership IS required for purchase of rifles, parts, and ammunition.
Club membership is NOT required for instructional publications or videos or CMP memorabilia.
MARKSMANSHIP OR OTHER FIREARMS RELATED ACTIVITY:
You must provide proof of participation in a marksmanship related activity or otherwise show familiarity with the safe handling of firearms and range procedures. Your marksmanship related activity does not have to be with highpower rifles; it can be with smallbore rifles, pistols, air guns or shotguns. Proof of marksmanship participation can be provided by documenting any of the following:
- Current or past military service.
- Current or past law enforcement service
- Participation in a rifle, pistol, air gun or shotgun competition (provide copy of results bulletin).
- Completion of a marksmanship clinic that included live fire training (provide a copy of the certificate of completion or a statement from the instructor).
- Distinguished, Instructor, or Coach status.
- Concealed Carry License.
- Firearms Owner Identification Cards that included live fire training. – FFL or C&R license.
- Completion of a Hunter Safety Course that included live fire training.
- Certification from range or club official or law enforcement officer witnessing shooting activity. Complete the CMP Marksmanship Form to certify your range firing and the required marksmanship related activity for an individual to purchase from the CMP.
No proof of marksmanship required if over age 60. Proof of club membership and citizenship required for all ages. NOTE: Proof of marksmanship activity is not required for purchase of ammunition, parts, publications or memorabilia.
BE LEGALLY ELIGIBLE TO PURCHASE A FIREARM:
The information you supply on your application will be submitted by the CMP to the FBI National Instant Criminal Check System (NICS) to verify you are not prohibited by Federal, State or Local law from acquiring or possessing a rifle. Your signature on the Purchaser Certification portion of the purchase application authorizes the CMP to initiate the NICS check and authorizes the FBI to inform CMP of the result. IMPORTANT: If your State or locality requires you to first obtain a license, permit, or Firearms Owner ID card in order to possess or receive a rifle, you must enclose a photocopy of your license, permit, or card with the application for purchase.
If your State or locality requires you to first obtain a certificate, license, permit, or Firearms Owner ID card in order to possess or receive a rifle, you must enclose a photocopy of your certificate, license, permit, or card with the application for purchase. Rifle shipments to NY and NJ must be made to a state licensed dealer. You must provide a copy of the dealer’s license with your order form. Rifle shipments to CA must be made to a State licensed dealer or may be made to individual homes, providing that a CA Certificate of Eligibility and a Curio and Relic License are provided. Rifle shipments to CT must be made to licensed or dealer or may be shipped directly to the customer if a C&R license is provided.
As a result of CT Bill 1160 and Bill 13-220 , which revised CT Bill 1160, all CT customers purchasing rifles to be delivered in CT must have the rifle shipped to a CT licensed dealer or must provide us with a copy of their current Type 3 (C&R) FFL license. We can ship directly to a customer’s home if they possess a C&R license.
NY, NJ and CT customers who have already mailed their rifle orders to CMP should provide email@example.com with dealer information or order cancellation instructions. Information can also be faxed to 256-835-3527 or mailed to CMP Customer Service, (Attn: FFL Order), 1401 Commerce Blvd., Anniston, AL 36207.
This page tells you everything you need to know to achieve eligibility for the Program, but even once I had read this, I still had many questions. In my case, I had a copy of my birth certificate, a couple of ways to achieve the third qualification that would require a little legwork, and nothing to meet the club requirement. In 2011, I had completed an Appleseed course, but I over the course of two moves, I had lost the green slip that certified my completion. I also had completed a handgun course for my concealed carry license, but, likewise that paper was in another state (safe and sound, but still a week away by mail, and I wanted to put in the order as soon as possible). Fortunately, I remembered the name of my Appleseed instructor, and was able to get in touch with him via the Appleseed Forums. He emailed me my green slip, which I printed out immediately and put together with my growing packet of information. I could equally have had a scan of the handgun course certificate emailed to me, or, if push came to shove, I could have had a range officer at the local range certify me via the CMP’s online marksmanship certification form. My understanding is that almost any shooting course will suffice for this requirement, but if you’re unsure you can always call the CMP before 4:00 PM Eastern Time on a weekday to check.
Many believe that joining a CMP-affiliated club will be one of the most difficult steps in the process; it’s actually one of the easiest. In my case, I used the CMP’s club search function to find the Louisiana Shooting Association, which allowed me to join online for the princely sum of ten dollars and fifty cents ($10.50). I called up the club’s treasurer to inquire what sort of documentation I would need, and he told me that while they do issue membership cards via email, I could simply use my receipt of payment to the club for the CMP. Bingo, I was in business.
It’s as simple as that! In Part 2, we’ll look at how to actually order from the CMP!