Tag Archives: police

Meet No. 24

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but back in 2015, I was one of the first people in gun media– or any media for that matter– to cover the story of Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers’s effort to include an amendment to the NDAA while the Pentagon spending policy bill was in the House Armed Service Committee. Rogers, who represented the district of Northern Alabama that included the Annison Army Depot and CMP’s headquarters operations, found out that the Army had 100,000 surplus World War II-era M1911s in long-term storage at a cost of $200,000 per year, or about $2 per gun.

The amendment: save Uncle Sam the cash by transferring the guns to the CMP for sale to qualified members of the public, with the funds generated used to support worthwhile marksmanship projects ranging from JROTC to 4H and the National Matches.

I continued to cover the story, which grew legs and captured the imagination of– no joke– millions according to the analytics. Over the course of the next half-decade, I would file at least a dozen updates for a couple different publications. In 2017, after an initial batch had been greenlighted for transfer by the Obama administration (!) on a visit to the “Army’s attic” the Army Museum Support Center at Anniston Army Depot, I was shown crates packed and filled with M1911s pulled from the military’s museum stocks that were in excess of the service’s needs, pending shipment to the CMP once the handgun program got underway.

The thing is, 19,000 people got excited enough about the first round of M1911 sales from CMP and submitted packets for the first 8,000 guns transferred. With that, I felt I had little to no chance of getting one for myself, so I did not wade into the deep waters of trying to get one of these old warhorses through the program.

C’est la vie, right?

However, as CMP announced their Round 2 of the M1911 program earlier this year, I cautiously allowed myself to get optimistic that, perhaps, my chance had come as the really rabid collectors had already shot their bolt– CMP only allows an applicant to get one of these pistols– in the initial go-round.

So I spent a day getting my packet together, sent it in during the open window (January 4 to March 4, 2021), and sat back to wait. On 6 April, I got an email saying I had a randomly generated number (20581) and found out that the current batch of orders was going to start at 20,000.

Nice.

Then, on 20 April, I got the call. All three grades (Service, Field, Rack) were available, so I selected Service– the best– and asked politely for a Colt.

The very next day (after a mandatory two NICS checks!) I walked away from my FFL with this:

The M1911A1 has a Colt GI Military frame, SN 904594, of 1943 production with GHD inspector’s stamp (left) complete with a dummy mark (!) and ordnance wheel/US Property/M1911A1 US Army stamps on the right.

Rather than the original slide, it has a “hard” GI replacement slide with FSN (Federal Stock Number) #7790314 M (magnaflux inspection) TZ (IMI Israeli, who supplied such slides under contract to the U.S.) with a minty chrome-lined barrel marked with FSN #7791193 91. The plastic grips have “24” rack number.

Although I could find no arsenal rebuild stamps, I am theorizing that the gun was reworked at Anniston late in its life, probably in the 1980s, then put back in storage.

I’m totally happy. It was worth the wait.

The 7791193 series barrels have a good reputation for accuracy. I’ll let you know…

Language added to NDAA to speed up 1911 transfers to CMP

An Alabama Congressman has managed to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act out of committee aimed at moving surplus Army pistols to the public.

In a statement from his office, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican that represents the Anniston area in Congress, announced his amendment to the NDAA has moved out of the House Armed Services Committee and is headed to the floor. The measure is designed to speed up the now two-year saga of transferring a stockpile of 100,000 surplus M1911 .45ACP handguns from Anniston Army Depot to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

More in my column at Guns.com

Inside the CMP, and the word on M1s coming back from overseas and possible 1911s…

To see just what the non-profit has on the shelf, I visited the Civilian Marksmanship’s South operations in Anniston. Co-located near the Anniston Army Depot — which is actually in nearby Bynum — and stores much of the Army’s stockpile of guns and items not needed for current operations, the CMP has a series of warehouses dotting the rolling hills of the area.

Unfortunately, most of them are nearly empty.

While now-retired CMP boss Orest Michaels told me back in 2010 the organization had 125,000 M1 rifles on hand including complete rifles, stripped receivers, and welded drill rifles, the group is coy about just what the numbers are today after several years of brisk sales and surging interest in U.S. martial rifles.

As Jim Townsend, CMP’s business development officer, walked me through a tour of their largest warehouse, he swept his arms over a large expanse of empty floor space and said, “When I first started here, this whole side of the building was full of M1s.” Repurposed crates that once contained M1s returning from allies in Greece and Denmark now hold everything but.

Repurposed crates that once contained M1s returning from allies in Greece and Denmark now hold everything but.

Why keep the empty space?

Check out my column at Guns.com for the answer.

When things are so bad that you have to send it to the people

So in California, which has had an assault weapon ban going all the way back to 1989 and yet still have mass-shootings with California-compliant firearms, lawmakers tried to pass over 20 legislative actions on increased gun control this session.

A baker’s dozen of these made it through the legislature in Dem-heavy votes of which Gov. Jerry Brown signed 7 into law and returned five with vetoes.

Since gun rights groups and Republican lawmakers couldn’t derail these, a group of gun owners on a gun forum (Calguns) got together and decided, “Let’s try for a ballot referendum to repeal these…”

And that’s exactly what they are doing.

With a pressing deadline of Sept.29, they are trying to get 450,000 signatures on 7 different propositions. Of course, California has 13 million gun owners, which by definition should all be capable of registering to vote, so it’s not far-fetched.

I’ve spoken with the man behind the effort, a San Diego tech company executive, and it’s a hail Mary play with a lot of spunk behind it.

More over in my column at Guns.com here and here.

Bringing the Second Amendment to the hood

The Black Lives Matter movement has embraced gun control and allied with anti-gun groups while their leadership has very publicly painted the group as non-violent and non-confrontational.

Not affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement, 29-year-old community leader Maj Toure is a gun owner and a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association and believes that the right to keep and bear arms is fundamental. And he is bringing that message, without any outside support, to the black community through outreach and free firearms training conducted by certified instructors.

I had a chance to talk with Toure this month about his Black Guns Matter group, his vision, and why it’s needed. In short, he wants to replace more gun regulations, buybacks and rhetoric with firearms training, education, and concealed carry permits.

black guns matter

“Charlton Heston said it – you basically got to pry this out of my cold, dead hand. I’m not going down that way because we are citizens, Americans,” Toure told me. “We are citizens. We have the right to exercise the Second Amendment and anyone that’s tryin’ to infringe on that is not only in violation of the Constitution but they’re also just a dick.”

I told him he needed to put that remark on a T-shirt.

More in my column at Guns.com

The Army’s surplus gun pipeline may be fixing to run dry

m1_lede

Last week the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the 2017 defense authorization act– but hidden inside its pages is a section that could destroy the military’s current stock of surplus rifles and pistols.

The Senate’s version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes some $602 billion in spending and despite President Obama’s threat to veto the annual policy measure over issues including a ban on closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison, saw widespread support, passing 85-13 last Tuesday.

While many have noted the measure includes such items as requiring females to register for the draft beginning in 2018, others have been lost in the almost kafkaesque layers of the bill.

In short, within 90 days of the bill becoming law, the Army would transfer almost all of the surplus guns it held at Anniston to Rock Island for meltdown. The only exceptions would be for up to 2,000 M1911 pistols and 2,000 M14 rifles that could be donated to military museums for preservation.

This could mean the death knell for surplus guns for CMP, the 1033 Program which supports some 8,000 local police agencies, and the Ceremonial Rifle Program which provides guns for veterans’ groups such as the VFW and DAV.

More in my column at Guns.com

An ‘assault weapon’ by any other name…

In 1989 California lawmakers puked up one of the first assault weapons bans in U.S. history and in subsequent years added tweaked it and added such blanket restrictions as prohibitions on .50BMG (because there are so many crimes done with these…). While the California Department of Justice has tried really hard to ban anything that is AR-15ish or AK-47like, all enterprising gun owners have had to do is use devices such as ‘bullet buttons’ and low-capacity magazines to be able to own one today.

Still, between 1989 and 2001, the state allowed the registration by civilians of grandfathered guns. Well through Guns.com I did a public records request to CA DOJ and obtained their list of registered guns, all 145,253 of them. A detailed analysis found some really interesting things.

Here’s a snapshot of the top 25 manufacturers for example:

 

  •     28,259 Colt Mfg, almost all Sporters and AR-15 type rifles
  •     16,665 Chinese Norinco/Polytech/Clayco rifles, primarily AK and SKS pattern guns in 7.62mm
  •     14,797 Bushmasters, almost exclusively XM-15 series rifles
  •     9,158 Heckler & Koch firearms, with Model HK 91, 93 and 94 rifles accounting for the majority
  •     4,529 Springfield Armory rifles, primarily M1/M1A 7.62mm guns
  •     4,528 IMI guns including 179 Galil rifles and 4301 UZIs of multiple types in 9mm and .45
  •     4,199 Armalites including 291 AR-10s and 1046 AR-180s
  •     3,124 Eagle AR-pattern firearms
  •     2,924 Intratec branded guns, all variants of the TEC-9/AB-10 and TEC-22 pistol
  •     2,732 Ruger firearms, mostly Mini-14 and Mini-30 rifles
  •     2,199 FN/Browning/FNH with mainly FAL and FNC type rifles listed
  •     2,189 SWD guns mostly Cobray and M10/11/12 MAC-style pistols
  •     1,876 Arsenal made AK-pattern rifles in 7.62mm
  •     1,461 DPMs, all AR-15 variants
  •     1,457 Austrian Steyrs, almost all AUG-series 5.56mm rifles
  •     1,303 Korean Daewoo firearms in several variants, almost all 5.56mm rifles but also 16 DR300s in 7.62 and 5 DP51 pistols
  •     1,170 Franchi shotguns in the uber-scary SPAS 12 and LAW12 varieties
  •     1,132 CAI/Century guns, primarily 7.62mm rifles
  •     1,082 Hungarian FEG guns, mostly SA85 AK-style rifles
  •     914 Auto Ordnance, typically all Thompson 1927 style carbines
  •     770 Imbel L1A1 type rifles in 7.62mm
  •     693 DSA rifles, all SA58 models
  •     526 Enterprise Arms 7.62mm rifles
  •     496 Berettas including some 122 AR-70s and 60 rare BM-59s
  •     445 SIGs, including 122 P-series pistols and 139 SG550 5.56mm rifles
  •     392 Benellis, split roughly between their M1 and M3 tactical shotguns

The rest of the 3,000~ word report over at Guns.com along with a photo gallery of some of the more interesting guns here.

weaver arms nighthawk

 

CMP may get into the 1911 business

remingtn 1911 with knuckleduster1918
An add-on to the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act that passed committee includes a plan to transfer the U.S. Army’s remaining stock of .45 ACP 1911A1 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Added as an amendment by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, while the NDAA was in debate in the House Armed Service Committee, it could see potentially the largest remaining stock of military surplus World War II-era handguns in government hands sold to the public.

The lawmaker disclosed that the military currently spends about $2 per year to store 100,000 Model 1911s that are surplus to the Army’s needs. While 8,300 have been sold or disposed of in recent years – largely through the controversial Department of Defense’s 1033 Program, which offers eligible law enforcement agencies up to one pistol per full-time officer – the guns still on hand have in many cases been stored since the 1980s when they were withdrawn from service in favor of the then-new Beretta 92F (M9).

More in my column at Guns.com

A chat with a controversial sheriff

So I write a lot of shit. I do fiction (zombie, military sci-fi books and short stories), non-fiction (firearms and history pieces and books), intelligence analysis, and other papers, articles ad nausea. Well I also write a lot of gun politics/legislation/litigation stuff as well– mainly for Guns.com where I have published, according to WordPress, some 1,042 articles since 2012 .

I typically don’t reblog my Guns.com articles over here as I try to stay non-political on LSOZI but decided to make an exception with a story I covered this week.

You see, in Milwaukee there was a horrible double murder after a tragic accident last weekend. In a nutshell, the a 40-year old man, Archie Brown Jr, with his 15-year old nephew in the car accidentally hit a child with his car at a birthday party. When he stopped to tend for the stricken youth, he and his nephew were shot at close range by a party goer and killed. Three people dead. Just like that.

Then the mayor and police chief of Milwaukee jumped in the issue with both feet and decried how lax gun laws in Wisconsin led to this, to which Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke–  a champion of gun rights– took exception.

In the meantime, when the long arm of the law caught up with the birthday party assassin who was hiding out (ironically) in Chicago which has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, he self-terminated. This guy has been in and out of jail since he was 17, was a felon (bank robbery, sexual assault) on parole and prohibited from possessing guns. I guess he didn’t want to go back to Boscobel for the rest of his life and live in a 12×7 with a stainless steel toilet.

So I caught up with Sheriff Clarke and talked to him for 20 minutes or so to get his take on the fall out, and I thought he was very candid.

The article is here.

And if you live in Wisconsin you can donate at your local Associated Bank to the Archie Brown Jr Memorial Fund to help cover funeral expenses.

Want to own a gun in Puerto Rico?

While writing a piece on a federal indictment of a police detective lieutenant in Puerto Rico for Guns.com, I took some time out and read the 20-pages of gun laws in the Commonwealth as well as talked to some folks back and forth down there.

131024100102-puerto-rican-bonds-620xa

Here’s what I found out:

The island territory requires those who want to legally own a firearm first obtain a weapons license or “Licencias de armas,” which costs $125 and has to be renewed every five years. This permit allows the holder to possess a maximum of two firearms, which have to be registered with the police, for which they can only purchase ammo in the same calibers as their declared firearms. Ammunition purchases are limited to just 50 rounds per calendar year per firearm.

Then of course you still need to buy a hunting permit if you want to use your guns for sporting purposes.

Those who want a concealed carry permit must already have a weapons license, become a member of a gun club recognized by the police, obtain an additional $25 Target-shooting permit (“Permisos de tiro al blanco”), which allows the possessor to purchase larger amounts of ammunition and then file an application to appear before a judge to argue their case for a CCW. This typically requires using a lawyer to expedite the process and obtain additional training.

The process costs upwards of $1,000 and the number of permits issued are so low as to classify Puerto Rico as a “No Issue” jurisdiction when compared to such notoriously strict “May Issue” handgun permit states as New Jersey and Hawaii.

However, the Commonwealth also suffers from a crime rate that is seven times higher than that found in the rest of the U.S. despite strict control over legal firearms.

The elusiveness of legal permits on the island has led to a burgeoning black market in illegally procured permits.

Hence the indictment for bogus permits…

« Older Entries