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ATF Seeks to Ban Commonly Used Ammunition. Contact Them Now!

UPDATE 2/19/2015: When you contact the BATFE to leave your comment, be sure to include your name and address. Apparently the BATFE won’t consider your comment unless it has your name and address. If you’ve already sent a message, please resend it with this information. We want your comment to count.

As you may have read over the weekend, the BATFE is considering banning the commonly used M855 5.56mm ammunition, abruptly claiming it as being “armor piercing ammunition,” despite its commercial availability and use since the early 1980s.

What this amounts to is yet another arbitrary and capricious action taken by an executive organization.

Since 1986 there has been a federal ban on “armor piercing ammunition” for handguns, as this ammunition does not fall under the “sporting purposes” clause (still another arbitrary and capricious infringement). The BATFE’s recent epiphany is that, since M855 could be fired from AR15 pistols, it should be classified under this ban.

The problem is that almost all rifle ammunition is capable of penetrating soft body armor, simply due to velocity and bullet shape.  For that matter, ice picks and steak knives are also capable of penetrating soft body armor because of their pointed shape.  Allowing this justification to be used to “reclassify” commonly used ammunition is a slippery slope that could lead to more and more bans on other commonly used rifle rounds, simply because they “could be” fired from a handgun – say, for example, a Thompson/Center hunting pistol available in any number of calibers.

Right now, the BATFE is having a 30 day open comment period for us to express our opposition. To make your voices heard, email, fax or send a letter via snail mail to the BATFE. All comments must be received by March 16th, 2015, so make sure any physical letter is in the mail well in advance of the deadline.

ATF email:

Fax: (202) 648-9741.

Mail: Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denise Brown, Enforcement Programs and Services, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226; telephone: (202) 648-7070.

When commenting, remember to mention:

  1. This is not handgun ammunition. This is commonly used rifle ammunition that has been in circulation publicly for over 30 years.
  2. It is frequently used for sporting purposes, such as hunting, target shooting, and competitions.
  3. This ammunition does not meet the criteria to be considered armor piercing as it does not have the components necessary. It does not have a core made of the metals listed in the classification. The core is made of lead and it has a steel tip. There is no steel core.

We also encourage you to contact your Senators and Representative to express your distaste with the BATFE and their rulings that infringe upon our rights. Your Senators and Representatives have the power to reign in this executive organization, as well as completely cut their funding. Hold their feet to the fire to act on behalf of the rights of every citizen. To find your Senators or Representative, please see the following links:

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