The ATF is backing down, for now, from a proposal to ban the 5.56mm green-tip bullets used in AR-15s after a major public outcry over the proposed ban. The ATF says they have received over 80,000 comments and apparently that’s caused them to at least halt and rethink this proposed ammo ban.
1:21 PM – 10 Mar 2015
NOTICE TO THOSE COMMENTING ON THE ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION EXEMPTION FRAMEWORK
Thank you for your interest in ATF’s proposed framework for determining whether certain projectiles are “primarily intended for sporting purposes” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(C). The informal comment period will close on Monday, March 16, 2015. ATF has already received more than 80,000 comments, which will be made publicly available as soon as practicable.
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. Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework.
As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56 mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela‘s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.
Wednesday night, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stepped in with a critical letter to the bureau demanding it explain the surprise and abrupt bullet ban. The letter is shown below.
The National Rifle Association, which is working with Goodlatte to gather co-signers, told Secrets that 30 House members have already co-signed the letter and Goodlatte and the NRA are hoping to get a total of 100 fast.
“The Obama administration was unable to ban America’s most popular sporting rifle through the legislative process, so now it’s trying to ban commonly owned and used ammunition through regulation,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, the group’s policy and lobby shop. “The NRA and our tens of millions of supporters across the country will fight to stop President Obama’s latest attack on our Second Amendment freedoms.”
At issue is so-called “armor-piercing” ammunition, an exemption for those bullets mostly used for sport by AR-15 owners, and the recent popularity of pistol-style ARs that use the ammo.
The inexpensive 5.56 M885 ammo, commonly called green tips, have been exempt for years, as have higher-caliber ammunition that also easily pierces the type of soft armor worn by police, because it’s mostly used by target shooters, not criminals. The agency proposes to reclassify it as armor-piercing and not exempt.
But now BATFE says that since the bullets can be used in semi-automatic handguns they pose a threat to police and must be banned from production, sale and use. But, as Goodlatte noted, the agency offered no proof. Federal agencies will still be allowed to buy the ammo.
“This round is amongst the most commonly used in the most popular rifle design in America, the AR-15. Millions upon millions of M855 rounds have been sold and used in the U.S., yet ATF has not even alleged – much less offered evidence – that even one such round has ever been fired from a handgun at a police officer,” said Goodlatte’s letter.
Even some police don’t buy the administration’s claim. “Criminals aren’t going to go out and buy a $1,000 AR pistol,” Brent Ball, owner of 417 Guns in Springfield, Mo., and a 17-year veteran police officer told the Springfield News-Leader. “As a police officer I’m not worried about AR pistols because you can see them. It’s the small gun in a guy’s hand you can’t see that kills you.”
Many see the bullet ban as an assault on the AR-15 and Obama’s back-door bid to end production and sale.
“We are concerned,” said Justin Anderson with Hyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte, N.C., one of the nation’s top sellers of AR-15 style rifles. “Frankly, we’re always concerned when the government uses back-door methods to impose quasi-gun control.”
Groups like the National Shooting Sports Foundation suggest that under BATFE’s new rule, other calibers like popular deer hunting .308 bullets could be banned because they also are used in AR-15s, some of which can be turned into pistol-style guns. “This will have a detrimental effect on hunting nationwide,” said the group.
The adoption of AR-15s for school resource officers by a district in Georgia was vilified by supporters of gun control, but as supported by FBI Bulletin Active Shooter Events from 2000 to 2012, is supported as an intelligent, data-driven decision.
The data clearly support equipping officers with patrol rifles. Many ASE sites involve open spaces or long hallways that create engagement distances beyond the ability of most officers to effectively engage a suspect with a pistol. Add this to the possibility that the officers may have to place precision fire on a suspect while avoiding hitting fleeing or injured victims, and the need for patrol rifles is clear. Additionally, about a quarter of attackers are armed with rifles. Officers ought to have firepower at least equivalent to what they will face if they go in harm’s way.
Because shooters often carry rifles and frequently shoot at officers in these events, law enforcement personnel should wear body armor that can protect them from rifle fire. This means that officers should be equipped with ballistic plates. Most of the rifle rounds used by active shooters can be stopped with type III plates, but some shooters have fired rounds that would be stopped only by type IV plates. Many of the commercially available plate carriers also have attachment points that can be used to carry other equipment, which proves useful during ASEs. This allows the plate carrier to serve as a “go bag” in addition to providing enhanced protection.
Of course, this too will be ignored by the Loony, ignorant gun grabbers who know next to nothing about guns
Bearing Arms brings us the sad tale of the Washington Post’s attempt to push the “guns are bad” line
The facts are conclusive.
Gun ownership is up tremendously. Young, urban, and female shooters are the fastest growing segments, ensuring that the next generation of gun rights advocates is not only expanding in numbers, but in spreading in geography and influence. Shooting is now an increasingly popular recreational and social pastime among family and friends.
The most popular firearms? Semi-automatic pistols, particularly those models of pistols most useful for concealed carry, are the fastest growing handgun segment. Modern sporting rifles—which are now available in more calibers, configurations, and price points than ever before—are the most popular rifles in the market. The AR-15 is the most common and popular centerfire rifle sold in the United States, year after year.
As gun ownership grows and spreads, violence crimes are down across the board. Rape, murder, armed robbery, assault and other violent crimes are on a decades-long decline. Gun accidents are down as well. Despite the endless dramatizations from the citizen control groups, you’re twice as likely to be killed by Bambi than a mass shooter.
And so perhaps it is very, very telling that on the eve of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the desperate citizen control cultists of the Washington Post are reduced to casting about for sob stories instead of making a scientific, mathematical, economic, or otherwise rational argument for citizen disarmament.
Go share your story of how you, or a friend used a gun to defend yourself, or how much fun you have at the range, let the Post have facts, they hate that!
How pathetic is our media? A mad man goes on a murderous rampage, killing 12 people, and the media’s first quest seems to be what kind of gun he used. And while they got that story wrong, largely because of their obsession with demonizing the AR-15, which is just a rifle, they continue to miss the politically correct elephant in the room. Powerline does not miss the most obvious question. How in the Hell did Aaron Alexis ever get security clearance?
According to reports, Alexis was arrested in Seattle in 2004 for shooting out the tires of a parked car. Apparently, he did so in a rage because he felt two construction workers had disrespected him.
The Seattle police said today that it referred Alexis’ case to the Seattle Municipal Court for charges of property damage and discharge of a firearm. But there’s no indication that Alexis was ever prosecuted. And a spokesperson for the Seattle City Attorney’s Office claims that it never received the report from police and so did not review the matter for possible charges.
If Alexis had been prosecuted and convicted, I don’t know that he would have gone to jail. But in a healthy, properly functioning society, he would have served time. And he certainly wouldn’t have walked due to faulty paperwork.
But let’s take Alexis’ situation one step further. If Alexis been convicted of discharging a firearm in public, prospective employers who conduct background checks (including, presumably, the Navy) would likely have learned of the conviction. Given the obvious threat posed by someone who shoots guns at cars because he feels disrespected, rational employers would have refused to hire Alexis.
But the civil rights community and the EEOC are inclined to sue employers whose criminal background check policies exclude black applicants in disproportionate numbers, which most such policies do. As an African-American, Alexis could have been a plaintiff in a private suit or a claimant in a government suit.
Gee I wonder why the media is spending less time asking about how he got the job and security clearance than about the weapon he used. Oh yes, narrative!