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Saturday, October 14, 2017

GOP: you can’t have too many guns

Republicans Oppose Langevin Effort to Stop Multi-million Dollar Gun Giveaway

Related imageOn October 12, Congressman Langevin offered a Motion to Instruct House conferees on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to reject provisions that would transfer surplus Army pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The motion was rejected 237-184.

“We have the opportunity in this year’s NDAA to stop tens of thousands of Army pistols from being transferred to an obsolete private corporation,” said Congressman Langevin. 

“This constitutes a multi-million dollar government giveaway that would serve only to make our streets more dangerous. In voting down this motion, Republicans ignored their own rules regarding earmarks and continued their pattern of refusing to take any action to reduce gun violence.”

“The daily tragedy of gun violence challenges the conscience of our nation,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.  

“Congressman Langevin’s commonsense proposal would have prevented tens of thousands of guns from being unleashed in our communities.  It is deeply disturbing that House Republicans instead decided to push their dangerous gun giveaway and stick taxpayers with the multi-million dollar bill.”

The CMP was established in 1903 following the Spanish-American War, when the American militia demonstrated several marksmanship and operational failures. 

With the advent of a professional military, the CMP was no longer essential to national security, and Congress privatized the Program in 1996. 

At the time, the Army was authorized to provide the CMP with an initial endowment of surplus rifles, ammunition and other spare parts that the CMP could sell to fund its activities, with the intention that it would eventually become self-sufficient.

The FY18 House-passed NDAA contains a provision requiring the Army to transfer surplus M1911A1 pistols to the CMP. The CMP would then be able to sell the pistols to support its activities. 

Langevin’s motion would have directed conferees to reject the House language and to support the removal of a waiver in the Senate-passed NDAA preventing the pistols from being melted down and repurposed. 

The conference committee will make a final decision on what language to preserve before final passage of the defense authorization later this year.