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2015-03-19

ATF backpedals on attempts to ban ammo

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reversed its decision to ban the 5.56 M855 "green tip" ammo used by AR-15 owners.



On Tuesday, Feb. 9, administrators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reversed their attempts to ban the 5.56 M855 "green tip" ammo used by AR-15 owners. But, from recent queries and conversations, no one seems aware of the decision.
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, CBS "This Morning" was the only network morning show to cover the decision to drop the proposed ban on the popular ammunition, devoting just 20 seconds to the subject. ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today" completely ignored the story.
Additionally, the all three networks had failed to cover the bullet ban reversal on their Tuesday night broadcasts. Only the Fox News Channel aired the ATF decision on Bret Baier's Special Report that evening.
On its Twitter account, the ATF announced to the public, "You spoke, we listened." Reportedly the "the vast majority" of the more than 80,000 people who had written to the agency were "critical" of the ban. As a result, ATF pulled the proposal even before the public comment period ended on Monday, Feb. 8. As perhaps a face-saving ploy, ATF ruled that it would give the topic "more study."
Going one better, however, Media Research Center reported: "The move by ATF came after an overwhelming response from gun owners, gun rights advocates and members of Congress expressing opposition to the ban." MRC tracks liberal bias in the media.
Reportedly, most gun owners considered the proposed ammunition ban as the Obama Administration's backdoor attempt at gun control. As conservative pundits noted, "If banning guns proved impossible, then ban ammunition."
Additionally, many feared this would be just the first of subsequent bans. This sortie by the administration has been described as part of a "research project" designed to review many types of common ammunition, which might also be construed as armor piercing.
According to information from the office of Congressman Lamar Smith, Americans own more than five million AR-15s, the most commonly used rifles for sports shooting and home protection. For over 30 years, the ammunition used for the AR-15 has been exempted under federal law for sporting purposes. This exemption allows the ammunition to be lawfully manufactured, imported and sold on the civilian market in the United States.
Nevertheless, the ATF announced a "Framework" announcing an intention to ban the manufacture and importation of the second-most common ammunition used for the AR-15, the M855 or "green tip." They reasoned the armor-piercing ammunition designed for rifles could also be fire from handguns.
In fact, millions upon millions of M855 rounds have been sold and used in the United States, yet ATF has never alleged - let alone offered evidence - that even one round has ever been fired from a handgun at a law enforcement officer, according to Smith.
On March 4, he, along with a bipartisan group of 239 members of the House of Representatives, sent a letter to AFT Director B. Todd Jones protesting the ATF's proposal.
In response to last week's ATF reversal, Smith said, "I welcome the ATF's decision to abandon its backdoor ban on bullets. Their plan would have infringed upon the Second Amendment rights of millions of law-abiding gun owners. I will continue to oppose any and all efforts by this administration to undermine the constitutional freedoms guaranteed to every citizen."