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M855 – A One-Year Retrospective

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

M855 – A One-Year Retrospective

Remember a year ago – February 13, 2015, to be precise – when the Obama administration presented a convoluted rationale by which M855, the second most popular variety of ammunition used in the nation’s most popular rifle, was to be banned?

At the time, Obama’s White House spokesman said that banning M855 would be a “common sense step” about which “everyone should agree.” Banning the ammunition would mean “greater gun safety,” proclaimed the New York Times. Failure to ban it would be “untenable” and “preposterous,” pontificated the Washington Post. Or, as the Los Angeles Times put it, “another loss for public safety.”

They all said that the ban was necessary to protect law enforcement officers, as did the increasingly inconsequential Brady Campaign and Violence Policy Center.

How the proposed ban played out was chronicled extensively in NRA-ILA Grassroots Alerts from February 13 through March 13, 2015. Suffice it to say now that the ban was opposed by law enforcement experts, 238 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 53 U.S. senators, 80,000 Americans who submitted comments to ATF, and the NRA. And in the end, the ban was shelved.

And the result? The same that followed gun control supporters’ prediction, during the 1970s and 1980s, that crime would rise unless handguns were banned. And the same prediction, beginning in 1987, when there were 10 Right-to-Carry (RTC) states, that RTC laws would cause crime to rise. And the same prediction, beginning in 1989, relative to banning some or all semi-automatic firearms and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Since those predictions, the number of handguns Americans own has nearly quadrupled, the number of Right-to-Carry states has more than quadrupled, the numbers of semi-automatic firearms and their ammunition magazines have risen by even greater margins, and violent crime has fallen to a 44-year low. 

And as for M855, well, when was the last time you heard anyone in the law enforcement field mention it?

Today, the anti-gunners’ worn-out “sky-is-falling” prediction centers around background checks for private transfers of firearms. Same degree of hyperbole. Same type of rhetoric. Same shameless use of distortion. 

And the White House continues to act unilaterally to try to impose gun control on the U.S. 

We’ve said it before, gun control advocates are counting on American voters to have short memories this November. If you don’t want more of the same, choose wisely and vote freedom first.

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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.