Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Your Action Urgently Needed to Prevent BATFE from Banning Common Rifle Ammunition!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Your Action Urgently Needed to Prevent BATFE from Banning Common Rifle Ammunition!

Oppose BATFE's Expansion of the Federal "Armor Piercing" Ammo Ban and Tell Congress to Act

President Obama insisted that if Congress would not enact his gun control agenda, he would do so on his own, through executive action. Whatever else can be said of the president’s track record, he is doing his utmost to keep that promise. Having failed to enact a federal ban on the AR-15, America’s most popular rifle, he’s now using the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to do the next best thing. BATFE is now proposing to ban a whole class of common rifle ammunition used in that overwhelmingly popular firearm. Unfortunately, that’s just the beginning of BATFE’s latest move.

On Friday, we reported on breaking news that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) had issued a “framework” for when bullets which would otherwise be classified as “armor piercing” ammunition under federal law qualify for the law’s exemption for projectiles “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.” 

Stop ATF's Ammo Ban: Urge Your U.S. Rep to Sign the Letter to ATF !

In an effort to thwart BATFE's attempted action, NRA has worked with U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to draft a letter to BATFE expressing the lawmakers' opposition to the proposed Framework.

Write Your U.S. Representative

BATFE's framework is the product of an effort that dates back to at least 2012. As we reported in December 2012, BATFE had met with a wide variety of stakeholders, including your NRA, to gather input on this topic. We had expressed concern that BATFE was misreading the law and encouraged interested parties to file comments to help guide the process in a positive direction.

The issue arises from the federal Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act (LEOPA), intended to ban "armor piercing" handgun ammunition ("AP" ammo) to protect police from being shot through their body armor in surprise attacks with handguns. In relevant part, LEOPA bans various sorts of non-lead projectiles (or projectile "cores") that “may be” used in handguns. 

As the authors of LEOPA realized, however, most common rifle ammunition created for legitimate purposes can penetrate soft body armor, and some rifle bullets can be loaded into ammunition for handguns. Congress therefore incorporated a “sporting purposes” exemption into the "AP" ammo ban to protect ordinary rifle ammunition from being swept up in the ban. Since LEOPA’s enactment in 1986, that scheme has generally worked as intended. 

We saw disturbing signs that was changing last year, however, when BATFE abruptly declared that popular 7N6 rifle ammunition was subject to the AP ammo ban.  At the time, questions arose as to why 7N6 was considered "AP" ammo, when the equally popular M855 rifle cartridge had long been subject to a "sporting purposes" exemption. Many wondered if BATFE would ever explain its approach to determining what projectiles are, in its opinion, "primarily suitable for sporting purposes." 

BATFE’s framework now does so. The bottom line is that BATFE has virtually interpreted the "sporting purposes" exemption out of the law. Simply put, this will result in disaster. 

The bottom line is that BATFE has virtually interpreted the "sporting purposes" exemption out of the law. Simply put, this will result in disaster.  

While the most visible and immediate effect of the framework is BATFE's revocation of the "sporting purposes" exemption for M855 ammunition, its long-term consequences could be even more severe. Once an "AP" projectile designed and intended by the manufacturer to be used in a rifle (for hunting, for example) "may be" shot from any commercially available multi-shot handgun, it could never be exempt under the framework (unless loaded in a .22 caliber rimfire cartridge). Basically, this means the virtual banning of non-lead centerfire rifle bullets, even as gun control activists and states are targeting lead bullets for separate bans. This collision of bans on both lead and non-lead bullets could eventually lead to a drastic reduction in lawfully-available ammunition offerings.

The NRA is continuing its examination of the framework and its implications and will be submitting detailed comments in opposition to it. As before, gun owners and other affected members of the public must act now to ensure BATFE does not get away with this. While emotions are running high in response to this latest attempt by BATFE to undercut the Second Amendment by administrative fiat, submissions should refrain from inappropriate language and calmly explain the framework’s errors. The following are just a few suggested points that can be addressed in comments to the proposed framework. This list is merely a sampling of the many points that could be raised against it. 

  • M855 ammunition should not even be categorized as "armor piercing" in the first place, given that lead is the primary material beneath its copper jacket.

  • BATFE's framework does not clarify the "sporting purposes" exemption; it simply interprets it into irrelevance.

  • The framework overturns nearly 30 years of settled law and the good faith expectations of gun owners and industry members.

  • The framework is totally at odds with the intent of the law to ensure that restrictions on armor piercing handgun ammunition do not unduly restrict common rifle ammunition, most of which is capable of penetrating police body armor when used in a rifle as intended.

  • BATFE incorrectly insists that it is required to establish an "objective" standard based on handgun design, yet it fails even to do that with the very broad "discretion" it retains to deny the exemption to projectiles that meet its "objective" test.

  • The framework will suppress the development of non-lead rifle projectiles that offer increased performance for hunters, decreased lead exposure, and solutions for hunters in states that restrict the use of lead in hunting.

  • The framework will likewise deter handgun development, as new designs could trigger bans.

  • Coupled with increasing attempts to ban lead projectiles, the framework could drastically reduce the availability of lawful ammunition for sporting and other legitimate purposes.

  • M855 ammunition in AR pistols is not a common threat faced by law enforcement officers.
     

Comments will only be considered by BATFE if received by March 16, 2015. They may be submitted in any of three ways:

Write Your Lawmakers and BATFE

BATFE is proposing to ban common rifle ammunition used by millions of gun owners. If their proposal is approved, it will result in a ban on the sale of commonly sold rifle ammunition used by gun owners for hunting, target shooting and self-defense. Write the BATFE and your members of Congress and express your opposition to this proposal. You may call your members of Congress at 202-224-3121.

WRITE YOUR LAWMAKERS AND BATFE

  1. Via email at [email protected] (follow the instructions at the link for submitting comments).

  2. Via fax at (202) 648-9741.

  3. Via mail to Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments.

Finally, please contact your U.S. Senators and Member of Congress. Urge them to oppose BATFE's attempt to ban M855 handgun ammunition and other rifle cartridges that are overwhelmingly used by law-abiding Americans for self-defense, sport shooting and other legitimate purposes as "armor piercing." Use the "Write Your Lawmakers" feature on our website or call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.

TRENDING NOW
NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

Monday, April 1, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

NRA Members Among the Largest Class Protected from Draconian Rule

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

News  

Friday, April 12, 2024

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

We have long been warning of the rule the Biden ATF has been preparing to redefine who is considered a firearm “dealer” under U.S. law.  The administration’s explicit objective was to move as close to so-called “universal background ...

Maine: Contact the Governor and Urge Her to Veto All Gun Control Bills!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Maine: Contact the Governor and Urge Her to Veto All Gun Control Bills!

After a nearly 24-hour marathon legislative session, the Maine House and Senate finally adjourned until "Veto Day" in the coming weeks. 

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Passes House and "Sensitive Places" Expansion to be Heard in Committee

Monday, April 15, 2024

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Passes House and "Sensitive Places" Expansion to be Heard in Committee

On Sunday, HB24-1292 the semi-auto ban, received final passage in the House and has been transmitted to the Senate where it awaits a committee assignment. 

Colorado: Three Anti-Gun Bills Advance - Contact Representatives Now!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Colorado: Three Anti-Gun Bills Advance - Contact Representatives Now!

Last night, the Colorado general Assembly continued its attempts to whittle down Second Amendment protections in Colorado. Two anti-gun bills, House Bill 24-1349 and House Bill 24-1353, passed the House Appropriations Committee and have advanced to the House floor, ...

NRA Scores Legal Victory in Dispute with DC Attorney General

News  

Thursday, April 18, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory in Dispute with DC Attorney General

The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) has announced a legal victory in a high-profile governance matter brought by the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia (DCAG).

Joe Biden Seems to Hate Cannons as Much as He Hates the Truth

News  

Monday, April 15, 2024

Joe Biden Seems to Hate Cannons as Much as He Hates the Truth

For quite some time, we’ve talked about Joe Biden and his gift for gaffes. Whether it is him losing battles with his teleprompter, his train of thought spectacularly derailing, forgetting which politicians have passed away, or simply mumbling ...

Maine: Only One Vote Needed to Kill Waiting Periods

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Maine: Only One Vote Needed to Kill Waiting Periods

If you want to save your Second Amendment rights in Maine, you need you to act NOW. After lengthy debates, the House and Senate passed 72-hour waiting periods by only ONE VOTE in each chamber.

Minnesota: Anti-Gun Legislation Passed in Senate Committee

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Minnesota: Anti-Gun Legislation Passed in Senate Committee

Today, Senate File 4312 and Senate File 5153 were passed in the Senate Finance Committee and could receive a vote on the Senate floor as early as next week. The bills would impose a one-size fits ...

ATF Trafficking Report Reiterates Futility of “Universal” Background Checks

News  

Monday, April 15, 2024

ATF Trafficking Report Reiterates Futility of “Universal” Background Checks

So-called “universal” background checks were back in the news last week. The Biden administration and the regime press were promoting the impression that ATF’s new “engaged in the business” rule closed the non-existent “gun show ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.