Copy of a letter I wrote opposing the above ban. The ATF is accepting comments so please write a letter to APAComments@atf.gov
I am opposed to the above referenced ban for the following reasons:
Commonly available steel-core, “green tip” M855 and SS109 rifle ammunition that is primarily intended and regularly used for “sporting purposes,” like target shooting, has been exempt from federal law banning armor piercing ammunition for decades. There is no question that the 5.56 ball ammo has been in wide use by law abiding American citizens for sporting purposes.
It is only with the increasing prevalence of handgun versions of rifle platforms, that ATF now apparently sees an opening to now ban the widely used M855 and SS109 ammunition.
Although it would be legally permissible to continue to possess and use so-defined “armor piercing” ammunition currently possessed. However, rescinding the decades-old exemption will have a major impact. It will become illegal to manufacture, import, distribute or sell at retail this very popular rifle target ammunition. It would leaving hunters and target shooters little options once their current ammunition is gone. It is obviously simply an attempt to make the weapons that fire these rounds useless since there would be no ammunition for them.
ATF’s proposed “framework” for applying the “sporting purpose” exemption test rewrites the law passed by Congress to disregard the manufacturer’s intention that a projectile or cartridge is “primarily intended for a supporting purpose.” ATF inappropriately places the focus on how criminals might misuse sporting ammunition in a handgun.
Just as disturbing, language used by ATF in its long white paper refers to criminals as a “consumer group.” The implication that the industry purposely sells firearms and ammunition to criminals is misleading and echoes the shopworn charges of the gun control lobby. The ATF should be run in a non-partisan manner and not as an arm of Bloomberg and his cronies who just don’t want anyone to own guns at all. Stop acting like you are in bed with the anti-gun lobby.
Manufacturers will face serious limitations in their ability to develop and market alternative ammunition in other popular hunting rounds, such as .308 rifle hunting ammunition, if ATF’s so-called “framework” is adopted. This will have a detrimental effect on hunting nationwide, especially in California where a total ban on traditional ammunition for hunting is being phased in now.
The proposal is useless since standard lead-only 5.56 ammunition is “armor piercing” simply due to the round’s velocity. Rifles in this caliber, or any caliber for that matter, are rarely used in crimes. This is supported by the DOJ’s own statistics of which type of weapons are used in crimes. The fact that 3 times more people are killed by beating than by gun use and less than 1% of gun crimes are committed with rifles which primarily used by millions of law abiding hunters every year.
Please do not pass this ridiculous attempt to criminalize law abiding citizen’s use of common hunting and target ammunition. It is a not well veiled attempt to take away all the current ammunition which would not allow law abiding citizens to hunt or even participate in certain competitions since there would be no ammunition for their weapons. This is unacceptable and is simply another attempt to limit our God Given Constitutional rights, specifically the 2nd Amendment. Remember these rights do not come from the government, they are god given rights. And the Constitution gives limited power to the government all other rights are reserved for the people.
Let Congress pass laws and stop trying to use Executive Departments and Orders to circumvent the Separation of Powers where Congress passes laws and the Executive branch is supposed to enforce the laws passed by Congress. This is just as bad as his refusing to enforce current immigration laws and violate his oath of office.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91411