Tags: Gun Rights | ATF | AR-15 | Democrats | bullet ban

After ATF Backs Away, Democrats Fire Back With New Bullet Bans

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 12:17 PM

A week after the Obama administration backed away from a controversial proposal to ban certain types of AR-15 ammo, several Democratic lawmakers have responded with several bills to ban or limit the use of so-called armor-piercing bullets.

"Armor-piercing rounds like green tips should only be in the hands of military personnel or police officers, period. There is absolutely no compelling argument to be made for anyone else to have access to them," Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel said in a statement issued two days after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) withdrew its own proposed ban.

After receiving more than 80,000 comments from the public concerning its proposed ban of the 5.56 M855 "light green tip" bullet, which is widely popular among sportsmen and AR-15 rifle shooters, the ATF issued a statement backing away from the proposal.

Noting that the "vast majority" of the public input received was critical and that comments raised several issues meriting "further study," the ATF said it "will not at this time seek to issue a final framework," according to the March 10 statement.

Almost immediately, Engel introduced The Armor Piercing Bullets (APB) Act, which would restrict the sale of small caliber, "green tip" bullets commonly used in AR-15 semi-automatic weapons. Engel said his bill would enact the ATF rules through legislation and would eliminate any concern about the administrative process.

Following up on the APB Act, Engel's fellow New Yorker, Rep. Steve Israel has plans to introduce a measure that would extend the definition of armor-piercing ammunition to include all bullets that could pierce body armor and be used in handguns.

"The ATF's decision to cave to the gun lobby and allow life threatening armor-piercing bullets to remain on the streets is not only reckless, but cowardly," said Israel in announcing plans to introduce a bill within the next week.

Israel and other supporters of the ban claim that the prohibition was an effort to protect law enforcement officers.

"The Second Amendment does not give anyone the right to use a bullet that is specifically designed to pierce the protective gear worn by police officers," the New York congressman told The Hill.

California Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier is co-sponsoring The Modernize Law Enforcement Protection Act, which could be introduced as early as this week, reports The Hill.

However, some law enforcement leaders said the proposed ATF ban actually was a stealth attempt to reduce the popularity of the AR-15.

"Any ammunition in the wrong hands is of concern to police, but this specific round has historically not posed a law enforcement problem," James Pasco, executive director of the Washington office of the Fraternal Order of Police, the world's biggest group of sworn law enforcement officers, told The Washington Examiner.

The Examiner said that, as with most rifle ammo, the 5.56 M855 will shoot through soft body armor but was granted an exemption to longstanding police protection legislation because it isn't used by criminals, who typically use smaller pistols.

"The notion that all of a sudden a new pistol requires banning what had long been perfectly legal ammunition doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to many officers," William Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, told FoxNews.com.

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A week after the Obama administration backed away from a controversial proposal to ban certain types of AR-15 ammo, several Democratic lawmakers have responded with several bills to ban or limit the use of so-called armor-piercing bullets.
ATF, AR-15, Democrats, bullet ban
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2015-17-17
Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 12:17 PM
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