President Donald Trump is set to sign the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which contains an amendment that will allow gun lovers in the US to get their hands on military-grade guns that are being retired from the army.
According to the International Business Times, it currently costs the U.S. military approximately $2 a day to store one pistol, and there are an estimated 100,000 1911s that are being stored. So that is a $200,000 expenditure the military can erase and replace with a profit, or at least of a recoup of costs, by selling the firearms, Breitbart reports.
26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Maritime Raid Force Marines and Sailors conduct a live fire exercises with M1911 MEUSOC .45 caliber pistols aboard the USS San Antonio (LPD 17), at sea, April 11, 2013.
International Business Times reports:
The $700bn (£525bn) 2018 National Defence Authorisation Act outlines measures for several programs and military numbers for the next fiscal year.
But one amendment in the bill has stood out from the rest.
Each year, weapons are evaluated. After some time, they are retired.
These retired weapons are often placed into storage, sold on or destroyed, but one batch of these weapons will soon be in the hands of civilians.
A scheme known as the Civilian Marksmanship Program is set to use the amendment to allow the sale of powerful pistols to the general public.
The scheme, which was first set up in 1903, is aimed at promoting firearm safety, but one of the most popular aspects of it is sale of surplus weaponry.
In the 2018 act, the long-standing .45 ACP M1911A1 pistol, a staple of the US military for more than a century, will soon be able to be transferred into the ownership of hundreds of gun owners in the US.
A cache of the guns, which are “no longer actively issued for military service” will be given to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
On top of the M1911A1, the M1911 pistol, the M–1 Garand, and .22 rimfire rifles will all be up for grabs when they are sold in 2018.
The pistol was invented in 1911 and is a semiautomatic weapon that became popular during World War One.
Variations of the pistol have been widely developed over the years and used as recently as 2014 by the marines issued with the Colt Defence model.
The sale of the weapons at a discounted rate to civilians helps raise money for the military as well as saving cash for the government who spend $2 a year to store one pistol, and with a supply of around 100,000 currently in storage, the savings are significant.