If you had any doubt that President Barack Obama wants to keep all guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, look no further than his administration’s recent opposition to a measure proposing expansion of the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., recently introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would expand the CMP to make it possible for Americans who meet stringent requirements to purchase a military surplus handgun. At press time for this issue, the U.S. House of Representatives had approved Rogers’ amendment.
The CMP is authorized under federal law to sell surplus rifles and ammunition to U.S. citizens of age who belong to shooting clubs affiliated with the program, provided they have passed a background check and otherwise satisfy all federal and state laws. Rogers’ amendment would simply extend the authorization to include other firearms—for example, allowing the Army to provide the program with 100,000 M1911 .45-caliber pistols. Such a move would benefit the Army, the CMP and taxpayers.
One would think such a proposal wouldn’t be controversial. After all, the M1911 is a single-stack firearm that was issued with a seven-round magazine. And as a semi-automatic pistol, it shoots only one bullet each time the trigger is pulled. Toss in the fact that the CMP requires a background check for purchases, and expansion of the program should be something even anti-gunners would like.
Instead, the Obama administration is showing its true colors—opposing the amendment and putting out misleading information about the proposed expansion of the program. First, Obama claims the CMP would sell the .45s over the Internet or by mail-order, without background checks. This, of course, is totally false, since federal law requires the CMP to conduct background checks and to comply with federal and state laws governing firearm sales.
The administration is reportedly also claiming that .45s sold by the CMP would be “untraceable.” This is also completely untrue, as the CMP keeps records on every firearm it sells.
The truth is, if the Obama administration has its way and the expansion of the CMP is derailed, it won’t make anyone, anywhere safer. All it would do is keep collectors and others from owning a cherished piece of American history.
Such opposition to a program that would allow sale of semi-auto handguns only to proven law-abiding citizens provides further proof that Obama and other anti-gunners don’t simply want to expand gun safety—they want to limit private firearm ownership. That’s yet another reason we must all work together to ensure we elect a pro-gun president and continue to build an even stronger pro-gun Congress in next fall’s election.