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Brady Campaign Caught Lying About FN Model "Five seveN" Pistol

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Given the large number of lies that anti-gun groups have told over the years, we hesitate to say that this is the most dishonest and deceptive thing we have ever heard from them. But what the Brady Campaign is saying about Fabrique Nationale`s Model "Five seveN" pistol is among the most dishonest and deceptive to date.

The "Five seveN" is a conventional semi-automatic pistol designed to fire various types of ammunition in Fabrique Nationale`s (FN) new caliber, 5.7x28mm. As required under federal law,1 only non-armor-penetrating types of 5.7mm ammunition are imported for sale to the public, however. One such type (designated SS196) is loaded with the Hornady V-MAX ("Varmint"-Max) varmint bullet. Some ranchers, who would otherwise carry a rifle for varmint control, have taken to the "Five seveN," which is easier to carry when working in the field. A hollowpoint bullet round (SS192) was imported initially, but FN has discontinued it in favor of the V-MAX round.

There is nothing special about the "Five seveN." It is a semi-automatic pistol, just like millions of other semi-automatic pistols. BATFE has determined that it is "particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes," and has approved its importation. There is also nothing special about the 5.7mm ammunition being sold to the public. V-MAX bullets, introduced in 1996, are used in nine other popular calibers. BATFE has examined the V-MAX round and determined that it is "not armor piercing ammunition." (Emphasis in the original.)2

However, Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control) claims that the "Five seveN" should be banned, further claiming that FN`s website says that "Kevlar helmets and vests . . . will be penetrated" with the pistol.3

Brady Campaign is lying. FN`s website makes that statement only with regard to "Five-seveN pistols and SS190 round"4 (Emphases in the original.) In boldface type, FN clearly specifies that its statement applies to only the SS190 variety of 5.7mm ammunition, which under federal law is not legal to manufacture or import for sale to the public.

Brady Campaign also claims to have used the pistol to defeat a police vest thrown over a bale of hay. No conclusions should be drawn from this stunt, of course. It was not conducted according to rigorous test procedures approved by the U.S. Department of Justice, nor supervised or observed by a neutral party. Also, two important factors-the type and condition of the vest Brady Campaign used, and the type of ammunition used-are uncertain.


1. "Armor piercing ammunition" is restricted under 18 USC 922(a)(7).

2. www.atf.gov/firearms/firearmstech/fabriquen.htm

3. www.bradycampaign.org/ (Brady website frontpage, Feb. 17, 2005.)

4. www.fnherstal.com/html/Index.htm


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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.