A bullet popular among AR-15 rifle shooters — and now the target of a proposed ban — isn't considered a threat to law enforcement, according to a leader of the world's largest police organization.
The Washington Examiner reports
the proposed ban of the 5.56 M855 "lightgreen tip" is seen by critics an thinly veiled effort to cool the popularity of the AR-15, the nation's most popular gun.
"Any ammunition is of concern to police in the wrong hands, 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 newspaper.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives last month moved to classify the bullet as "armor piercing," and ban it, and Pasco conceded the bullet "will penetrate soft body armor," but told the Examiner "it has not historically posed a threat to law enforcement."
White House spokesman Josh Earnest insisted on Monday the ban was in the interest of law enforcement, the Examiner notes.
Nevertheless, the administration effort to push through the ban has come under fire on Capitol Hill, where 235 House lawmakers have signed a letter challenging the proposal, the Examiner reports.
The Examiner notes 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 Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, however, argues with the popularity of AR-style pistols growing, the weapon poses a new threat to police, the Examiner notes.
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