Florida Carry

Immediate Action Needed to Stop ATF from Banning Common Use SS109/M855 "Green Tip" 5.56mm Ammo as "Armor Piercing". Comments Close on March 16, 2015

 
ISSUE: The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has issued a new framework for determining whether certain projectiles are "primarily intended for sporting purposes" which if approved, would effectively withdraw the armor piercing exemption SS109/M855 5.56mm cartridges commonly used in AR15 platforms currently enjoy. As a result, manufacturers will be prohibited from producing the cartridges, and importation will be banned.
 
BACKGROUND: Since the creation of the political term "assault weapon", anti-gun administrations have attempted to ban or otherwise prevent ownership of firearms meeting this cosmetic and ergonomic feature based definition, primarily targeting the AR15 platform. The Clinton administration successfully got the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban enacted for a ten-year period. In 2004, Congress refused to renew the ban, citing Department of Justice reports which showed the ban to have appreciable effect on gun homicides and violent crime. However, since the election of President Obama, the gun community has fended off relentless efforts by the administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and sympathetic congresspersons to introduce ineffective gun control initiatives.

Having little to no success in the Democratically controlled Senate during the administration's first term, it has become painfully obvious that with the loss of the Senate to the Republicans, Congress is no longer a viable route. In his most recent State of the Union address, President Obama vowed to bypass Congress"whenever and wherever (he) can" through the use of executive actions to get his mandates enforced. 
 
AG Holder, now out of office, recently lamented: "I mean, really reasonable gun safety measures that were supported by the vast majority of the American people is for me something that I take personally as a failure." 

It is obvious this latest assault on gun rights is an attempt at ramming gun control down the throats of Americans in spite of the opposition of Congress and the people, focusing once again on the most popular sporting rifle in US history, with over 4 million AR15s in circulation. With the 2008 Heller ruling affirming the right to keep and bear arms is NOT limited to only sporting purposes, and the AP ban justified entirely on a sporting purpose requirement, we believe this initiative to be unconstitutional on its face. Additionally, the straw man argument of protection of law enforcement officers is simply a "what if", as the number of LEOs shot through body armor by AP rounds is practically non-existent.
 

By federal law, the term "armor piercing ammunition" means-

(i) 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;

The bullet (projectile) must have a core made entirelyout of the metals defined by law. The M855's projectile core is primarily lead with only a steel tip. It simply does not meet the statutory definition of an armor piercing round under any reasonable interpretation of the law.
 
IMPACT: SS109/M855 ammunition will become prohibited and unavailable.
 
WHY SHOULD YOU ACT? Although the most popular sporting rifle in US history, there are many gun owners who do not own an AR15, and have no dog in this fight. Hunters take note - during the Clinton administration, the original armor piercing ammo ban proposal would have included practically every common hunting and target round. In short, your ammo could be next! 

Florida Carry vehemently opposes this attack on one of the most popular and common cartridges in use today, and urges its members and friends to take immediate action to comment on this extreme move to further infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

HOW CAN YOU HELP? The easiest way to comment is by email.
 
DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before March 16, 2015.
 
To:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Subject:
I oppose the proposed BATFE ban on common M855 ammunition


 

For your convenience, feel free to cut and paste the following suggested comment into the form, and edit as you see fit. Thank you for your immediate assistance in this urgent matter. 

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I oppose the ATF classification of SS109/M855 as "armor piercing" and the proposed withdraw of the current "sporting purpose" exception for this common ammunition.
 

By federal law, the term "armor piercing ammunition" means-

(i) 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;

The bullet (projectile) must have a core made entirely out of the metals defined by law. The M855's projectile core is primarily lead with only a steel tip component. It simply does not meet the statutory definition of an armor piercing round under any reasonable interpretation of the law.
 
M855 ammunition is most commonly used for lawful target shooting, hunting, and competition. Furthermore, the round is easily defeated by armor, including the vests mandated for use by most police departments.

Once again, I oppose the designation of SS109/M855 cartridges as "armor piercing", and urge the bureau to discontinue its efforts to ban common use ammunition.
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