Will Congress Override Obama’s Veto of the NDAA and Allow CMP 1911 Sales?


Will Congress Override Obama’s Veto of the NDAA and Allow CMP 1911 Sales?

When President Obama vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on October 22, one of the casualties was the plan to transfer army surplus 1911 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for sale to qualified U.S. citizens.

The NDAA specifies the budget and expenditures for the U.S. military for the year and is required every year. Since the veto a week ago, the speculation has been whether Congress will be able to override the veto or whether the House and Senate will have to pass a new version of the NDAA more acceptable to the president.

In a statement issued regarding the veto, President Obama said he vetoed the legislation due to disagreements with Republican leadership on the military sequester and because it does not include spending reforms the President wanted.

“I have repeatedly called on Congress to eliminate the sequester and make sure that we’re providing certainty to our military so they can do out-year planning, ensure military readiness, ensure our troops are getting what they need. This bill instead resorts to gimmicks that does not allow the Pentagon to do what it needs to do,” he said.

At this point the chances of a successful veto override seem slim. While the Senate passed the NDAA by 70-27, which would be enough for an override vote if no votes are lost, in the House the measure passed by only 270-156, which is short of the number needed for a veto override.

If the veto is not overridden, an entirely new version of the NDAA will have to be written and pass both the House and Senate before again heading to the President’s desk. Since the provision to allow the CMP to sell surplus 1911 pistols is such a small part of this important legislation, it’s hard to say whether proponents of the plan will fight to keep it in the next version of the NDAA or allow it to be cut in an attempt to make the bill more palatable to the President.

By law the CMP is currently restricted to selling only surplus rifles to U.S. citizens and can not receive surplus pistols from the military or sell them to the public. The provision to allow the CMP to receive surplus 1911 pistols and sell them to qualified U.S. citizens was originally sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Alabama.

In short, the answer to the question “Will the CMP be able to sell surplus 1911 pistols?” at this point can best be answered with a Magic 8-Ball. “Answer Hazy–Ask Again Later.”

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Rob Reed is a firearms instructor, collector and all around "projectile launcher enthusiast" in the Metro Detroit area. He also writes as the Michigan Firearms Examiner.

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