Given the large number of lies that anti-gun groups and politicians 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 they are saying about Fabrique Nationale`s Five-seveN pistol is among the most dishonest and deceptive to date.
By way of background, 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 variety (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 conventional semi-automatic pistol, like millions of other semi-automatic pistols. BATFE has determined that it is "particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes" and 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."2 (Emphasis in the original.)
However, Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control) began claiming in February 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 On March 3, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and several others repeated the false claim during a press conference announcing legislation by Lautenberg and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to ban the pistol and the SS192 variety of ammunition.
Brady Campaign and their legislative water-carriers are 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).
3. www.bradycampaign.org/ (Brady website frontpage, Feb. 17, 2005.)