House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte is writing a letter to ATF director B. Todd Jones to heavily criticize and oppose the agency’s recent attempt to “reclassify” — or let’s face facts BAN! — widely popular AR-15 ammunition.
In an interview with Fox News, Goodlatte spoke about who is behind the ban on M855 green tips, the letter and the support it has received from fellow lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“The president has tried to ban this rifle [AR-15], but Congress has refused,” Goodlatte said Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File.”
“Now it appears he’s taking his pen and cell phone and, through the ATF, is trying to ban the second most popular ammunition that is used in that rifle,” the Virginia Republican continued.
Goodlatte will send out the letter to Jones and the president next week. By then, he’ll have more than 100 signatures on the letter from both Democrats and Republicans.
Meanwhile, the Dept. of Justice rejected the implication that this is a gun-control scheme by the president and downplayed concerns from pro-gun lawmakers and the firearms community.
“The law explicitly authorizes the Attorney General to exempt ammunition ‘primarily intended for sporting purposes,'” said DOJ spokesman Patrick Rosenbush in a statement.
“No action has been taken –ATF is simply proposing, and requesting public comment on, a framework to enforce the law that Congress passed and provide guidance for the industry through a transparent process for making exemption decisions,” it continued.
However, Goodlatte isn’t buying the DOJ’s reasoning, nor is he convinced that the public will get its say in the matter.
“They’re doing it in a way that appears to violate the Administrative Procedures Act. They’re not doing it out in the open in a public process. So we’re concerned,” he told Fox News.
“And there is no assurance that when these public comments are made that those comments will be made public,” he added. “So it’s not, in our opinion, the proper way to go about doing this. It’s a bad idea to begin with. They’re not following the law.”