The Obama administration has for the time being rescinded their unpopular order to ban AR-15 ammunition, after 80,000 opposition comments poured to ATF. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they plan more study before they propose a new ban the 5.56 M855 “green tip” ammo, but the National Rifle Association and other groups intend to make sure they follow through.
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) March 10, 2015
“They’ve gone away for now. We know they’re coming back and we will be ready,” said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA.
In a tweet, ATF said, “You spoke, we listened. @ATFHQ plans more study on the proposed AP Ammo exemption framework.” It added in a statement:
“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,” the statement read.
Gun rights advocates still plan to flood ATF mailboxes with opposition letters just to make sure they go through with their withdrawal.
“Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework,” the agency added. “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.”
While many groups jumped to oppose the rule, it was the NRA that pushed with the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary committees to put together majorities of members to oppose the ban.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman wrote a letter to ATF, which warned that the bullet ban could lead to deeper restrictions of the Second Amendment.
“Second Amendment rights require not only access to firearms but to bullets,” Sen. Grassley said in the letter. “If law-abiding gun owners cannot obtain rifle ammunition, or face substantial difficulty in finding ammunition available and at reasonable prices because government entities are banning such ammunition, then the Second Amendment is at risk.”
The Obama administration proposed in the ATF ban under the guise of protecting police, but lawmakers and activists said the proposal was a backdoor effort to impose gun control and limit use of the AR-15, a popular semi-automatic weapons liberals continuously and inaccurately call a “fully automatic assault weapon.”
“The AR platform is the semi-automatic version of the M16 machine gun originally designed for and used by the military,” the framework ATF proposal read. “The AR-based handguns and rifles utilize the same magazines and share identical receivers. These AR-type handguns were not commercially available when the armor-piercing ammunition exemption was granted in 1986. To ensure consistency, upon final implementation of the sporting purpose framework outlined above, ATF must withdraw the exemptions for 5.56 mm ‘green tip’ ammunition, including both the SS109 and M855 cartridges.”
However, law enforcement officials and police groups, said the AR-15 pistol, which can weigh as few as five pounds, isn’t even being used against police. The relatively newly designed pistol, which costs roughly $1,000 or more, is changed out by criminal who prefer cheaper and easy-to-conceal handguns.
James Pasco, executive director of the Washington office of the Fraternal Order of Police, which is the world’s largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers with more than 325,000 members, also said the ammunition wasn’t even an issue.
“It’s not something that’s necessary at this time,” he told.