President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It includes several NRA-backed provisions — expanding gun rights on stateside military bases; prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from banning traditional ammunition; and saving taxpayer dollars by allowing gun collectors to buy vintage military surplus pistols.
The NDAA includes an NRA-backed provision requiring the Secretary of Defense to establish a process for commanders at military bases, reserve centers, and recruiting centers to allow service members assigned to that base or facility to carry a firearm. After the July murder of four Marines and a police officer at two Tennessee recruiting centers, the NRA called for a policy change to allow military personnel to carry weapons while on station. This NDAA provision is a good first step in the effort to fully restore the Second Amendment rights of military personnel.
“The brave men and women in our Armed Forces should not be left defenseless against terrorists on American soil. Local commanders now have the authority to allow service men and women to be armed while on base. Members of the military should have the same ability to defend themselves as every other law-abiding citizen,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action.
Another NRA-backed provision in the NDAA prohibits the EPA from banning traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This provision is necessary because extreme anti-hunting groups have filed multiple petitions with the EPA to ban the use of lead ammunition. Those petitions have been rejected, but those groups use the administrative rejections as an excuse to sue the agency in pursuit of the same restrictions.
“Prohibiting the EPA from banning traditional ammunition is a huge victory for hunters, recreational sportsmen and our military,” said Cox. “This ensures that our military, hunters and sportsmen will have access to traditional ammunition at a reasonable cost.”
The NDAA also includes a cost-saving provision that allows the U.S. Army to transfer its surplus vintage firearms to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for public sale. Currently, the Army stores excess M1911A1 pistols in a warehouse costing taxpayers approximately $200,000 a year. Transferring these vintage pistols to the CMP will allow them to inspect, grade, and ultimately sell these pistols through federally licensed firearms dealers.
“The NDAA puts an end to the wasteful government practice of warehousing firearms. It’s a common sense measure that saves taxpayers money and allows gun collectors to add a sought after vintage sidearm to their collection,” added Cox.
“The enactment of these common sense, NRA-backed provisions into law is a result of the American people electing a pro-Second Amendment majority to the United States Congress. On behalf of our members, I want to thank all those lawmakers who stood firmly on the side of freedom, ” concluded Cox.