Gun Gripes 97: M855 Ammo Ban

In this episode of Gun Gripes, Eric and Chad discuss the ATF’s proposed reclassification (aka ban) on M855 ammo.

While Eric and Chad raise many good points in the video, the NRA-ILA also put out a must-read article on the subject. Here are several objections to the ATF’s proposed framework for reclassification that you can include in your letter, email or fax:

  • M855 ammunition should not even be categorized as “armor piercing” in the first place, given that lead is the primary material beneath its copper jacket.
  • BATFE’s framework does not clarify the “sporting purposes” exemption; it simply interprets it into irrelevance.
  • The framework overturns nearly 30 years of settled law and the good faith expectations of gun owners and industry members.
  • The framework is totally at odds with the intent of the law to ensure that restrictions on armor piercing handgun ammunition do not unduly restrict common rifle ammunition, most of which is capable of penetrating police body armor when used in a rifle as intended.
  • BATFE incorrectly insists that it is required to establish an “objective” standard based on handgun design, yet it fails even to do that with the very broad “discretion” it retains to deny the exemption to projectiles that meet its “objective” test.
  • The framework will suppress the development of non-lead rifle projectiles that offer increased performance for hunters, decreased lead exposure, and solutions for hunters in states that restrict the use of lead in hunting.
  • The framework will likewise deter handgun development, as new designs could trigger bans.
  • Coupled with increasing attempts to ban lead projectiles, the framework could drastically reduce the availability of lawful ammunition for sporting and other legitimate purposes.
  • M855 ammunition in AR pistols is not a common threat faced by law enforcement officers.

Comments will only be considered by BATFE if received by March 16, 2015. They may be submitted in any of three ways:

  1. Via email atAPAComments@atf.gov (follow the instructions at the link for submitting comments).
  2. Via fax at (202) 648-9741.
  3. Via mail to 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.

Finally, please contact your U.S. Senators and Member of Congress. Urge them to oppose BATFE’s attempt to ban M855 handgun ammunition and other rifle cartridges that are overwhelmingly used by law-abiding Americans for self-defense, sport shooting and other legitimate purposes as “armor piercing.” Use the Write Your Lawmakers” feature on our website or call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.

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