CMP Issues Clarification on 1911 Purchase Requirements

    TFB have been closely following the news that the Civilian Marksmanship Program is set to obtain as many as 10,000 surplus M1911A1s. The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was signed into law on 12th December, but the CMP had preempted this, sending out an email to its members on 5th December.

    This CMP email broke down the requirements prospective 1911 buyers would have to fulfil to get their hands on one of the newly surplussed pistols. Corey covered these requirements in an earlier article, with the CMP revealing the guns would be offered to customers selected by random name generator, that they would only be available via mail order and would not be transferred on 03 FFL C&R licenses.

    The email also revealed that customers would have to pass two National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks. It appears this decision was queried by a substantial number of customers and on the 12th December, CMP posted a clarification on their 1911 Information page explaining the need for two NICS checks:

    Reasons for the two NICS checks:

    First Reason:  The first NICS check makes sure the customer can legally possess the 1911 type pistol prior to shipping it to the local 01, 02, or 07 FFL dealer.  The CMP, Congress, and the United States Army do not want the 1911 to have to be shipped back to CMP 1911 if the purchaser is not legal to possess.  The more in transit the pistol is, the more likely it could be lost or stolen.  The second NICS check is performed by the local 01,02, or 07 FFL in accordance with their standard transfer procedures.

    Second Reason:  CMP’s enabling legislation mandated by Congress specifies that the purchaser “successfully pass a thorough and complete background check”, i.e. NICS.  CMP cannot turn any firearm over to the purchaser until it receives a “proceed” from NICS, the local FFL can turn the pistol over after 72 business hours have elapsed if they have not heard back from NICS.  Turning the pistol over after 72 hours and not getting a “proceed” does not satisfy CMP’s enabling legislation mandated by Congress.  This leaves CMP no choice but to have a NICS check done and get a “proceed” to satisfy its enabling legislation, before shipping to the local 01, 02, or 07 FFL.

    The CMP also went on to address the concerns voiced by many that the price of the 1911’s may be prohibitively expensive:

    Concerning sale price of the 1911s: CMP has been selling M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, 1903s, .22s, etc. for 21+ years and we have never taken advantage of anyone. CMP is not going to start price gouging people now with the 1911s. The 1911s will be priced at fair market value just like our M1 Garands.  The CMP’s enabling legislation directs sales of items at fair market value.

    It is understandable that many feel the CMP are having customers ‘jump through hoops’ to get their hands on a surplus 1911A1.

    Matthew Moss

    Matthew Moss – Assistant Editor.

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK he also runs www.historicalfirearms.info, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of www.armourersbench.com, a new video series on historically significant small arms.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]


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