Home / Badge Abuse / “Sorry, Our Bad,” ATF Says Publishing Error was Behind Ammo Ban Fear

“Sorry, Our Bad,” ATF Says Publishing Error was Behind Ammo Ban Fear

Washington, D.C. – Last month the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) published a new framework, and regulation guide, for selecting which ammunition is “primarily intended for sporting purposes” and thus able to be exempted from the federal ban on armor-piercing ammunition.

The regulation guide, which lists currently exempted ammunition, had omitted the M855 cartridge, used in the AR-15 rifle drawing the ire of many gun enthusiasts.

These moves have raised red flags in regards to evolving government tactics in its continuing war on the 2nd Amendment.

Instead of targeting the gun itself, as gun ownership is constitutionally protected under the 2nd Amendment, they are going after the ammunition for the gun. Since ammunition apparently has no such protections, this seems to be the new approach to usurp the 2nd Amendment.

Some media reported that the ban on M855 ammo was already in effect due to the ammunition’s failure to appear in the exemption listing.

The ATF has now claimed that the omission from the guide was an error.

An attached press release from the ATF states:

“Media reports have noted that the 2014 ATF Regulation Guide published online does not contain a listing of the exemptions for Armor Piercing Ammunition, and concluding that the absence of this listing indicates these exemptions have been rescinded.

Please be advised that ATF has not rescinded any Armor Piercing Ammunition exemption, and the fact they are not listed in the 2014 online edition of the regulations, was an error, which has no legal impact on the validity of the exemptions. The existing exemptions for armor piercing ammunition, which apply to 5.56 mm (.223) SS 109 and M855 projectiles (identified by a green coating on the projectile tip)… remain in effect.”

The letter goes on to say, “ATF apologizes for any confusion caused by this publishing error.”

But don’t be fooled by the sleigh-of-hand of the ATF spin machine.

The ATF is still considering banning this popular ammunition even if there was a publishing mistake that omitted it from the exemption listing.

This shift in tactics can be seen in the statements of White House spokesman Josh Earnest when commenting on the initial reports of the ammo ban from the first guide, which was labeled by the ATF as “a publishing error.”

“It would be fair to say, as we are looking at additional ways to protect our brave men and women in law enforcement, and believe that this process is valuable for that reason alone,” Earnest said in an interview with the Blaze. “This seems to be an area where everyone should agree that if there are armor-piercing bullets that fit into easily concealed weapons, that puts our law enforcement at considerably more risk.”

While this is a wonderful sound bite, the reality is that not one police officer has ever been killed by the ammunition that is potentially going to be banned. This fact reveals the White House spokesman’s statements to be total propaganda in support of an anti-gun, pro-police agenda, with virtually no basis in reality.

“We have not been able to find a single instance where a police officer has been shot from this type of handgun using a bullet that pierces his soft-body armor, and if the administration had any examples you know they would be pushing it in everybody’s face to further their executive action,” said Alan Gottlieb, the executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation.

“We’ve scoured everywhere, gone into every source possible to try to find an instance of this and have not been able to find one,” he added.

According to the ATF they are taking public comments on the proposed new framework through early April. The time is now to make your voice heard, spread the word and let the ATF know that you want to continue the current exemption for the M855 round.

Make no mistake that the new proposed framework presented by the ATF reveals a paradigm shift taking place that will attempt to limit access to ammunition by removing its exemption status.

Don’t let the bureaucrats in Washington do an end-around to the 2nd Amendment!


Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.

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