How to Buy a Firearm From The CMP? Part 2: Ordering Your Weapon
In the previous previous installment, we looked at how to assemble our eligibility package for the Civilian Marksmanship Program. In this installment, we will look at how to actually order a rifle from the Program. Ordering is not a particularly difficult process, so this post will not be very long. To order from the CMP, you can navigate the website to the ordering page located at this link. You will be presented with this text:
Rifles and receivers may only be ordered through mail order. The CMP does not accept telephone, fax, or online orders for firearms. Ammunition, parts and other surplus items may be ordered by phone, fax, or online if CMP has proof of customer eligibility on file. If you have questions on what is required to order from the CMP, please visit our Eligibility Requirements web page.
ORDERING BY MAIL:
MAIL ORDERS AND ALL REQUIRED ENCLOSURES TO:
CIVILIAN MARKSMANSHIP PROGRAM
1401 COMMERCE BLVD
ANNISTON, AL 36207
There is more to the page, but for rifle orders we will be focused solely on mail-order, as the CMP does not accept orders for rifles of any other kind. Even in this Internet Age, it is mail-order or bust with the CMP. That’s OK, though, as your primary method of payment will be the Postal Money Order; this is a secure form of payment, purchasable from your local Post Office, which is commonly used for gun sales via GunBroker and other gun commerce websites. In addition to a Money Order, you will need a CMP Order Form. This comes in a convenient file that you can fill electronically from your computer, available here or at the CMP’s website, and gives the CMP all the information they need to run a NICS check on a purchaser. The form must be notarized, but if you do not have a notary on hand, know that most banks offer free notary services to their account holders. I was able to simply walk into my bank and request notarization of the CMP Order Form, and walk out not ten minutes later.
Once that is complete, and you have copies of your proof of citizenship, date of birth (both satisfied by a birth certificate or passport), CMP club affiliation, and proof of marksmanship course, head to the Post Office and purchase a Money Order. Just bundle copies of your eligibility documentation with the filled out CMP order form and the Money Order for the requisite amount, mail it, and you’ve completed your order for the CMP! Note that other forms of payment are accepted by the CMP, but in my opinion the Money Order is the most hassle-free. You can pay by credit card or personal check, but since – in my case – I need to drop the packet off at the Post Office anyway, I almost always use a Postal Money Order for any firearms purchase.
The CMP says that rifle orders take 2-4 weeks to complete. In my case, it took 19 days from sending in the order form to receiving the email that told me my rifle was in the mail headed my way. The CMP says it ships rifles via FedEx overnight, so maybe I can expect my rifle next week!