NRA Explore
APPEARS IN News

BATFE Taking Comments on "Sporting Purposes" Exemption to "Armor Piercing Ammunition" Law Until Dec. 31

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is taking public comments on its website until December 31, with regard to how it should determine what types of projectiles meet the "sporting purposes" exception to the federal "armor piercing ammunition" law. At this time, the question centers primarily around rifle-caliber projectiles made of metals harder than lead, such as the Barnes Bullets solid brass hunting bullets.

Under the law, adopted in 1986, "armor piercing ammunition" is defined as "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." A second definition, added in the 1990s, includes "a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile."

Because handguns have been made in certain rifle calibers, many bullets that were designed originally for rifles also "may be used in a handgun." If such projectiles are made of the metals listed in the law, they are restricted as "armor piercing ammunition" unless they meet one of the law's exemptions. Being considered at this time is the exemption for "a projectile which the Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes."

Last week, BATFE met separately with gun control activist groups, firearm industry groups, and groups representing hunters and other gun owners. The latter meeting included the NRA; Safari Club International; representatives of state wildlife agencies; and firearm and ammunition importers.

BATFE has expressed two opinions about the law and exemption that warrant particular scrutiny.

First, BATFE suggested that it believes that the "armor piercing ammunition" law was intended to affect all ammunition capable of penetrating soft body armor worn by law enforcement officers. NRA reminded BATFE that the law was intended to protect law enforcement officers against the potential threat posed a very narrowly-defined category of projectiles: those, such as KTW and Arcane, which by virtue of their hard metal construction were designed and intended to be used by law enforcement officers to shoot through hard objects, such as automobile glass and doors, when fired at the velocities typical of handgun-caliber ammunition fired from handguns. Neither before nor since the law's enactment, has an officer been killed due to such a bullet penetrating soft body armor.

NRA further pointed out that the legislative history of the law clearly shows that members of Congress, including the sponsor of the law in the House, Rep. Mario Biaggi (D-N.Y.), a decorated former NYPD police officer, expressly did not want the law to restrict rifle-caliber bullets that happen to also be useable in handguns chambered to use rifle cartridges.

Second, BATFE says it considers projectiles to not be exempt under the "sporting purposes" test if they "pose a threat to public safety and law enforcement." BATFE also expressed concern that since the law was adopted, various new rifle-caliber handguns have been invented. On that point, NRA made clear that the sporting purposes exemption is straightforward: it applies to all projectiles that are "primarily intended for sporting purposes"--nothing more, and nothing less. Under the law, a projectile would be exempt if it is primarily intended for sporting purposes, even if it is secondarily intended for self-defense or some other legitimate purpose. Furthermore, the law does not condition its restrictive language or its "sporting purposes" exemption on the design of a particular handgun; the law is concerned only with specific projectiles that can be used in handguns. NRA cautioned the BATFE against interpreting the law in a manner more restrictive than Congress intended.

For more information on ATF's position and information on how to submit comments by the Dec. 31 deadline, go to www.atf.gov/firearms/industry/.

TRENDING NOW
Couric’s Under the Gun, Under Fire Again

News  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Couric’s Under the Gun, Under Fire Again

The film Under the Gun, produced and narrated by news anchor Katie Couric and directed by Stephanie Soechtig, took a major credibility hit soon after its May release, when it was revealed that the film ...

Massachusetts AG Renews Attack on Gun Owners

News  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Massachusetts AG Renews Attack on Gun Owners

Last week, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey added to the confusion caused by her decision to unilaterally ban common semi-automatic firearms by releasing a list of “Guns That Are Not Assault Weapons.” In other words, ...

Libertarian VP Candidate William F. Weld Continues to be Anti-Gun

News  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Libertarian VP Candidate William F. Weld Continues to be Anti-Gun

As governor of Massachusetts, William Weld supported various gun control schemes, including a ban on semi-automatic firearms.  Unfortunately, and despite being the Libertarian candidate for vice president, Weld continues his anti-gun ways.

Injunction Sought Against Texas Campus Carry Denied by Judge

News  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Injunction Sought Against Texas Campus Carry Denied by Judge

In July, University of Texas at Austin professors Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore, and Mia Carter filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and UT officials to ...

As Venezuelan Regime Loses Grip, Maduro Targets Guns

News  

Friday, August 26, 2016

As Venezuelan Regime Loses Grip, Maduro Targets Guns

Amid social and economic strife that threatens to topple the regime of Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan government is employing a favorite tactic of tyrants the world over, further gun control. Last week, Reuters reported that Venezuela Interior ...

Tennessee: Pro-Gun Law to Go into Effect Friday

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tennessee: Pro-Gun Law to Go into Effect Friday

During the 2016 Legislative Session, the Tennessee Legislature passed multiple pro-gun bills that promote and protect your Second Amendment rights

Virginia: Governor McAuliffe Gun Ban Proposal to be Considered on Wednesday

Monday, August 29, 2016

Virginia: Governor McAuliffe Gun Ban Proposal to be Considered on Wednesday

On Wednesday, August 31, the Department of General Services is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s executive order to permanently ban the concealed carry of firearms in executive branch offices.

News  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

NRA Statement on Governor Christie's Conditional Vetoes of Anti-Gun Bills

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox applauds New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's heroic conditional vetoes of two anti-gun bills that would further restrict the rights of firearm owners throughout the Garden State.

California: Counting Down to the end of the 2016 Legislative Session

Friday, August 26, 2016

California: Counting Down to the end of the 2016 Legislative Session

As the California legislature enters the final days of the 2016 legislative session your action is needed on several bills. This week both a pro-gun bill, AB 2510, and an anti-gun bill, SB 1332, were ...

Massachusetts Attorney General Unilaterally Bans Thousands of Previously Legal Guns

News  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Massachusetts Attorney General Unilaterally Bans Thousands of Previously Legal Guns

On July 19, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued an “enforcement notice” that greatly expands the Commonwealth’s definition of “assault weapon.”  AG Healey alleges that the ban’s definition of “copy” or “duplicate” “assault weapons” has been misinterpreted ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

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.