Biden Wants to Ban ‘Armor-Piercing’ Rounds Via Executive Fiat

Shotgun” Joe Biden is once again sounding off on the gun issue, this time setting his sights on “armor-piercing” rounds.

In a recent interview with CBS News, Biden spoke about the need to ban “armor-piercing” rounds in the wake of the shootings in Dallas that left five police officers dead.

“We’ve been trying to do that for a long time,” Biden said. “The first bill introduced to stop armor-piercing bullets was introduced by Pat Moynihan and me years ago. And so what we get is the constant, constant push back from the gun lobby and the Republican Congress.”

Maybe Biden doesn’t realize this, but the Federal government already bans “armor-piercing” rounds with few exceptions.  Under current law, the ATF defines “armor-piercing” ammo by the following criteria:

Armor piercing ammunition

18 U.S.C., § 921(a)(17)(B)

  • A projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
  • A full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

The term “armor piercing ammunition” does not include shotgun shot required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Attorney General finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device.

The key exemption is the “primarily intended for sporting purposes” clause.  You’ll recall that not too long ago, in the Spring of 2015, the ATF actually attempted to “reclassify” — or as the gun community correclty called it, “ban” — M855 rounds, also known as “green tip” ammo, so that it would no longer fall under that exemption.

But after receiving over 80,000 critical comments from concerned gun owners on the proposal to ban the popular green tips, the ATF backed down.

“Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study,” said the agency in a statement.

“Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework,” the statement continued.

What was particularly concerning about the assault on green tips was that it was coming from a federal agency and not the Legislative Branch.  As we all know, Congress is charged with drafting new laws — not the ATF.  But this type of rogue law-making — circumventing the House and Senate — is something that vice president Biden endorses.

“There is a debate as to whether or not there is authority in an executive action. I think we have the authority,” said Biden.  “And there is a concern that if in fact we go ahead and do it, what the response will be from the United States Congress in a way that may be able to override a veto.”

In other words, Biden believes that Obama has the power via executive to expand the existing ban on “armor-piercing” rounds to cover all sorts of steel core ammo in common use.  Biden also said in the interview that the “armor-piercing” rounds have “zero” sporting application.

At this point it’s not clear whether the Obama administration will pursue an expanded ban on “armor-piercing” rounds.  However, if Obama decides to go down that road one can pretty much guranatee that the GOP-controlled Congress will vociferously weigh in on the matter and ultimately prevent it from taking effect.  At least one would hope.

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  • DavidC August 4, 2016, 1:42 am

    Biden is a moron. He has proven it time and time again. How did this man ever get elected?

  • Bob S July 17, 2016, 3:48 pm

    1. Biden wants to ban armor piercing bullets, mostly those with steel cores, but as the article points out, armor piercing ammo has already been defined and banned.
    It would be nice to have senior government officials who know what the laws are.
    Majority of bullets use to be lead alloys be EPA rules now ban the use of most high lead bullets due to environmental pollution.
    Looking further, the Dallas police chief said that armor piercing bullets were used. Checking I found that a Russian rifle classified for hunting was used. It can be purchased legally in all 50 states including California with their now most restrictive regulations. Its’ modifications make it illegal. The Russian made ZN6 ammunition it used was already also banned by the ATF in 2014 as being armor piercing.
    Check these:×39-ammunition

    The public should demand better from our public servants:
    • Police chief should have included that they were shot with an illegally modified Russian hunting rifle and ammunition already banned as armor piercing.
    • Elected officials (Biden) should investigate and know the subject before trying to speak about it.

  • Larry Koehn July 16, 2016, 1:20 pm

    Don’t handload? Time to start a new hobby. If they banned all ammo tomorrow I would be able to roll my own for quite awhile. Do you honestly believe that they want to ban armor piercing ammo because of cops? DemoRATZ throw cops under the bus daily to appease their black voter base. They just don’t want their gun collectors to die if they ever try to confiscate guns.

  • mike ehrig July 15, 2016, 10:38 pm

    there are 3 sides to our goverment….having one try to rule by fiat defies a democracy and becomes a dictatorship. the whole idea behind our government is so one person or dept never has total control. the house and the senate are abdicating their duties when they allow the liberal idiots to by pass their authority. maybe its time for a complete change of elected officials or even a fresh civil war.

  • Joe July 15, 2016, 7:17 pm

    Will somebody please buy that idiot Biden a puppy to play with so he can accept his last couple months as Obama’s shoehorn in relative obscurity….as usual.

    • TPSnodgrass July 16, 2016, 3:38 pm

      Nah, DrunkUncleJoe Biden is just another political-pustule-of-irrelevance in history.
      His latest is just as smart as his “advice”(as a licensed attorney) to cap off two rounds from one’s double barrel shotgun into the air to “scare ” off any icky constituents coming in to rape, sodomize and pillage his wife, children, grandchildren and home.
      Way to stay on message Joe, now crawl back for another snort, would ya’ please?

  • Mikial July 15, 2016, 5:15 pm

    Liberals like Biden demonstrate just how stupid and uninformed they are very time they open their mouths and make farting sounds.

    • Mark July 15, 2016, 11:46 pm

      Wrong answer there Joe. We the people have the right to have the same firearms and ammo the our elected government officals and military carry to counter a bad government if the need is there.

      We The People

    • Miles July 15, 2016, 11:57 pm

      They arent stupid they realize this would virtually ban all ammunition then gun controle would be irrelevant

  • Beau July 15, 2016, 5:12 pm

    So, Shotgun Joe just found out that he is the Vice President of the U.S.The same guy that told his wife to give two blast from a double barrel shot gun out the window. I would not want to be the Secret Service Officer doing security at his house! So, now he is talking about banning Armor Piercing ammo. The public does not have access to this type of ammo. Go to any gun store and ask for this and you will get laughed out of the store. If we are talking about ballistic vest and what the will stop. A NIJ standards, 3A will stop most handgun ammo, from a .22 all the way up to a .44 magnum these type of vest are the type worn by most officers and security. These types of vest were never meant to stop rifle caliber like the one used by the murderer in Dallas, Texas. If a rifle caliber like the one used in Dallas and the most common in the U.S. .223 Cal. / 5.56 mm NATO is shot at a pistol bullet resistant vest does not make it “Armor Piercing”. You would need level III rifle armor to stop rifle caliber. If they cannot ban guns, they try to ban the ammo for the firearm. This is just another attempt to demonize the rifle and the ammo. He should consult with professional before he opens his mouth.

  • Richard D Turner July 15, 2016, 2:17 pm

    Was Biden right when he made the comment about shotguns – NO. Should we listen to him now No.

  • Gingerbaker July 15, 2016, 11:41 am

    “Banning all civilian gun ownership is the goal. This is just one more step in that direction.”

    This IS the goal of many people. And one of the reasons they feel that way is because of how paranoid, immature, and how completely fucking unreasonable most of the people on your side of the debate are!

    Believe it or not – I am in the middle – but a lot closer to your side than the other. I get people at liberal sites crazy when I tell them to STFU already about their version of gun control – which is any stupid version they want because they do not accept that the 2nd protects individual ownership.

    But you motherfuckers are even crazier than the liberals ( Complete disclosure – I am completely far left – way more far left than the Democratic party – on most issues.) You guys don’t think at all – there is just a simple one-way valve in your heads – if it has to do with gun control you are against it. Period. If it is from a Democrat you are against it. From a Republican, you are for it.

    Which is the way dumb animals – like sheep – think. You motherfuckers think like dumb animals. You are unreasonable on the issue – and it is going to reduce your gun rights more than preserve them in the long run. Why why why should the other side listen to you when you are so fucking unreasonable all the fucking time?

    • Penrod July 15, 2016, 7:22 pm

      Hi Gingerbaker, I know, I know: It is a terrible thing to accept the Constitution actually means what the Founders said it says, and to want to hold people like you to its provisions. Simple, mindless, people, like the Founders. yep.

      So, gun people are “paranoid” but “many people”‘s goal is to ban all civilian gun ownership. So why are gun people paranoid if you admit that people really are out to ban guns?

      Allowing weapons and ammunition useful for “Sporting purposes” is utterly spurious: the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to guarantee the naturally occurring right of the People to the means to defend the country, and to keep their public servants in place. You may despise that latter purpose, but you do have a responsibility to accept it until you amend the Constitution.

    • Ed July 15, 2016, 9:12 pm

      Wow!!! Do you kiss your wife with that mouth???

  • Gingerbaker July 15, 2016, 11:26 am

    ” But this type of rogue law-making — circumventing the House and Senate — is something that vice president Biden endorses.”

    Oh, bullshit! This was a matter of interpretation by a Federal agency which has the duty to make interpretations of the laws as Congress writes them. This is not “rogue law-making” as you oh-so-objectively put it.

    This also appears to be an example of the system working – a bad decision protested and changed. “Rogue law-making”! LOL Keep your panties dry.

  • Al July 15, 2016, 11:15 am

    Biden knows damn well how his propaganda ploy will play out: All the big cities will double down with more idiotic draconian laws of their own that will redefine even common hunting ammunition as “armor piercing” – because city people are stupid welfare mongers or trendies who’ve never seen a gun. This then becomes the template for more laws that disarm rural Americans across the country while they dump Sharia on your doorstep. It’s coming soon: A wave or “rapefugees” who think your 12-year old is an afternoon snack. Just giving you a heads-up.

  • Kevin Walker July 15, 2016, 10:13 am

    This is just about “Doing Something”, so they can feel good about themselves. It also would set a precedence that the BATFE can just ban any ammo they don’t like under the “Sporting Purposes” clause. The law as written, only gives them the right to grant exceptions, not to ban otherwise legal ammunition.

    The fact that M885 is not rated as AP ammo by anyone and that its construction doesn’t even meet the definition of AP ammo under the actual act is illrevevant.

    The next logical step would be to ban any ammo that is capable of penetrating a bullet resistant vest. Of course this would ban just about all rifle ammo.

    Banning all civilian gun ownership is the goal. This is just one more step in that direction.

  • eddie046 July 15, 2016, 10:02 am

    Well I guess it’s time to stock up on some more M855 and the round nobody seems to know about, 7.62×25 Tokarev which is FAR superior in my opinion to the 5.7×28.

  • Steve Corcoran July 15, 2016, 9:30 am

    When will some of these clowns actually do a bit of research. The vests worn by pretty much all law enforcement personnel on a daily basis are designed to stop handgun bullets (& not even all of them). There is not a comfortable, flexible vest made that will stop a round from any hunting rifle larger than the varmint calibers (or, as another poster commented on, extremely fast pistol rounds like the 5.7 x 28 round now being carried by the secret service). Vests are available with pockets for the steel rifle plates, but they are not something the average street cop wears on the beat because crime with long guns has never been an issue. Pretty much the only time criminals have used long guns in the commission a crime is in incidents like the one in Dallas because they are . . . . . well, long, bulky and clumsy to aim in enclosed spaces. Plus it’s very easy to spot someone carrying one so they are not something a criminal looking to rob a liquor store can hide in his pocket.

    The truth . . . . armor piercing rounds suck to shoot someone you are trying to effectively stop with because they don’t do much damage. Any bullet hard enough to pierce armor plate goes through a human being like a needle and causes very little damage along the wound path. They do make light armor piercing rounds in smaller calibers but folks in the field hate them because you can shoot an enemy repeatedly & they keep coming unless the bullet hits a major organ or directly hits a large bone. This is why personal protection rounds look NOTHING like armor piercing rounds. Generally home defense rounds include some form of hollow point, or frangible bullet that deforms or expands upon impact to help transfer the kinetic energy from the bullet into the target. The more of the kinetic energy you can transfer from the bullet to the target, the more stopping power you have & the more damage done to the target.

    Most of the actual armor piercing rounds manufactured for and purchased by governments are large caliber rifle rounds that are designed to breech armored vehicles. To do this several different methods are utilized. High explosives are utilized, as it thermite, which basically burns straight through the armor. Ultra-dense bullets, or ultra dense darts contained inside the bullet are also utilized, but normally this are coupled with an incendiary compound so once the dart breeches the vehicles armor, the compound can ignite and immolate the occupants.

    Bulletproof vests work by stopping the bullet from penetrating the target and spreading the kinetic energy from the bullet over a much larger area to minimize the damage to the person wearing them. To be flexible and comfortable enough to wear, the vests are usually made of woven mats of laminated kevlar, or similar materials. This means there are spaces between each thread which limits the ability of the vest to certain force limits. The laws of physics are immutable, so to stop a more powerful round, the vest has to become more bulky. Past a certain limit, flexible body armor is ineffective because the amount of energy imparted to the bullet is great enough to push between the threads in the fabric. This amount of force is easily achieved with basically any hunting rifle round that is legal to hunt a deer with. Wildlife agencies put a minimum caliber size on firearms that can be utilized to hunt large game with to ensure game does not suffer unnecessarily due to people using too small of a round to effectively kill the animal with a well placed shot. I know for a fact Dallas’ special weapons & tactics personnel understand this and have access to rifle-rated vests with steel plates, but this is not something all officers carry in their vehicles normally.

    I understand that “scattergun” Joe will never actually research anything, or get a clue as to what he is talking about, but I sure wish reporters would. I remember when being a journalist was supposed to mean you were impartial, did the legwork and called things the way they were . . . . no matter what. These days it means sucking up to whichever politician will offer you the most and then just agreeing with everything that dribbles out of their mouth, even when you know it is utter fabrication.

  • SkiCat July 15, 2016, 8:36 am

    No one needs one of those assault trucks as used in France. There’s no place for them on the streets of America! Only the police and military should have those…;)

    • T L July 16, 2016, 12:13 am

      Mentally Ill? What does that have to do with it? What about the truck, after all it was the truck that killed? I think we need more “truck control”!

      • SkiCat July 16, 2016, 4:41 pm

        I think you’re on to something! Good show.

  • FUBO July 15, 2016, 8:16 am

    Biden also said in the interview that the “armor-piercing” rounds have “zero” sporting application.

    What does that have to do with ANYTHING? Where in the 2A does it mention “Sporting Application”?

    • Penrod July 15, 2016, 7:25 pm

      ” Where in the 2A does it mention “Sporting Application”?”

      It’s right there in the Penumbras & Emanations Clause. Plain as the nose on you knee.

  • David Telliho July 15, 2016, 7:10 am

    I`d bet a penny to a peanut, all anti gun politicians own stock in gun and ammo companies.

  • Chris July 15, 2016, 4:51 am

    Pretty much any 5.7x28mm round will penetrate both sides of a Level IIIA vest with ease, even when fired from a five-seven pistol. Tested it myself with a very nice ballistic gel torso in the middle too.

    But so did .223, 12 gauge #00 buck, .308 NATO, and just about everything else we shot at the damn thing. If you don’t have rifle plates on you better not get shot with anything hotter than a .32 ACP. Sheesh

  • tom hangan July 15, 2016, 1:28 am

    Here we go again. When will these ignorant buffoons are going to learn. The shooter used an AK-74 rifle that shoots 7.62 x 39 rounds and not a AR-15 which shoots a .223 or 5.56 round. By definition, he is only targeting the 5.56 green tip round based on the Dallas shooting when the round was not used. Most police vest are only required to use a class 3 body armor that will only stop must regular hand guns. In order to stop a rifle you need a class 5 type armor or heavier that adds metal plates similar to Swat or military style flack jackets. It is the speed of the round that penetrates these body armor and not its “armor piercing” tip. The tip only helps the round keep its shape as it penetrates. These politicians love to make decisions based on ignorance and needs to stop before the masses start rising.

    • michael phillips July 15, 2016, 8:00 am

      ak 47 is 7.62 x 39mm ak74 is 5.45 x 39mm

    • jim July 15, 2016, 8:25 am

      If you get an ak-74 to shoot 39 ammo, that’s a real trick. Like you said, here we go again with ignorance….

  • JAQUE BAUER July 15, 2016, 12:08 am

    Politicians and idiocy go together. Idiot politicians come in all flavors. But idiots are dangerous when the voters are also idiots. Democrats are more likely to be idiots. After the terror attack in France using a 2 ton truck to mow pedistrians down, will Biden and Obama call for truck controls ? Nope. Because they want to take our guns not to prevent deaths or crime, but to force us to comply with their stupid rules, laws, and orders. Disarmed we are weak, servile. But we will never disarm voluntarily, never.

  • Mark N. July 14, 2016, 5:18 pm

    Talk about a misleading, leading, and ridiculous interview. First, the interviewer assumes that they were “AP” rounds simply because the mayor said so. It seems to me that the Dallas mayor is saying that “armor piercing” rounds must have been used because the (typically level II or IIIa) vests were penetrated, not because he or the police determined the type of projectile being employed. Can it be denied that any 5.56 or 5.54 round will pierce all “bullet proof” vests except those with steel or ceramic plates? Hell, ANY rifle round will penetrate those vests, and not one of them needs to be “armor piercing.” More of the same blind leading the blind; before any legislator should be allowed to propose any bills on guns, they should be required to take some course that teaches them about guns and ammunition.

    • Luap July 15, 2016, 7:21 am

      The reason why the round could pierce their soft body armor was the result of the high velocity of the projectile. Once 2000fps is achieved, armor plates are needed. Soft level III is only rated for up to 44magnum and from a handgun. Yet I have seen soft level III stop 500magnum, but most likely will crush all internal organs.

    • CharlieKing1 July 15, 2016, 10:35 am

      So it is the Dallas Mayor opening his uninformed yap; just like he was ranting about Texas’ Open Carry law in front of our esteemed Governor. WHY can’t we have a balance to all this anti-gun yap by having someone who knows the law, knows firearms and ammo be interviewed by the MSM? Certainly if the MSM did a little homework, they’d see the folly of the politicians, but then I’m asking a lot…

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