Legislation Introduced to Block ATF From Banning Popular Rifle Ammunition

Posted: Mar 17, 2015 8:40 AM

Last week the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms announced they would not move forward at this time with a ban on common AR-15 5.56 M855 "green tip" ammunition. Citizens submitted more than 80,000 comments to ATF about the proposal, the majority of which opposed the ban. 

"Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study," an ATF press release stated. "Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework."  

Now new legislation, the Ammunition and Firearms Protection Act, has been introduced in the House by Republican Patrick McHenry and would bar ATF from ever banning this type of ammunition. The legislation would also keep ATF from classifying AR-15 "green tip" ammunition as "armor piercing." 

"The proposed ban is but the latest step in President Obama's assault on our Constitution and Bill of Rights," McHenry said in a statement about the legislation. "While I'm glad the ATF acknowledged the vast public and Congressional outcry against this plan," They have still left open the possibility that it could be proposed again in the future and many Congressional Democrats have called for just that. The Ammunition and Firearms Protection Act would put an end to this attack on our Second Amendment by ensuring this popular ammunition used by countless law-abiding American sportsmen remains available and not subject to any future ATF bans." 

Last week ATF Director B. Todd Jones called all 5.56 M855 ammunition a "challenge" after the ban was temporarily dropped.

More than 200 Republicans and Democrats in the House along with 52 Republicans in the Senate opposed the ATF ban proposal. However, some Democrats sent a letter to ATF last week urging they move forward with the ban regardless of Congressional and civilian opposition.