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Section 1062 Eliminated

Saturday, December 15, 2001

Thanks in large part to the efforts of U.S. Representative Bob Stump (R-Ariz.), the House Armed Services Committee Chair, Section 1062 of S. 1438, the "National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2002," was stripped from the House-Senate Conference Committee`s final report. Sec. 1062—included at the last minute in the version of the Defense Authorization bill passed by the Senate, but not in the House`s version—sought to provide the Secretary of Defense with the authority to require "demilitarization" of any "significant military equipment" that has ever been owned by the Department of Defense (DoD). This would include firearms (such as the venerable M1, M1 Carbine, and Model 1911, as well as all Civilian Marksmanship Program rifles, even "sporterized" surplus bolt-action Springfields!), firearm barrels, ammunition, and gun powder. "Demilitarization" is the term for rendering such items permanently inoperable. Sec. 1062 would have allowed for this action to be carried out either by the owner or a third party, with the owner paying the cost, or by the DoD. However, if the DoD were to determine it should perform the demilitarization, Sec. 1062 would have also allowed it to determine whether the cost of returning the demilled item is prohibitive. If decreed cost-prohibitive, DoD could then simply keep the item, and reimburse the owner only for the fair market scrap value of the item.

Representative Stump deserves the thanks of the entire pro-gun community, as do those NRA members and other activists who took the time to contact members of the House-Senate Conference Committee to urge them to strip Sec. 1062 from the "National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2002."

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