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ATF Shelves Controversial Bullet Ban Proposal… End of the Ammo Ban?

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The federal government has made another blatant attempt to take away our rights by trying to pass a ban on rifle ammunition. Recently, ATF issued a proposal indicating changes in rules for the future. Specifically, ATF wants to ban all M855 “green tip” ammo.This is a very popular type of ammo used in AR-15 style rifles. Obviously, this new gun control measure is done for the sole purpose of disarming the American public and further ripping away our Constitutional rights.

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The Second Amendment of the Constitution protects the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.  However, gun control advocates are trying to severely limit this right. Some people actually believe that only the government should have firearms, as crazy as that may sound. For years, the government has been passing laws that infringe on our gun rights. Of course, some restrictions on gun ownership are necessary to ensure public safety. Common sense dictates that there should be some control over who can own firearms, how they can be carried, and which guns should be legal. But an outright ban on firearms ownership is an irresponsible, dangerous and irreversible option to gun control regulation.

The government will never issue an outright ban on firearms.The backlash would be outrageous. This would cause a modern-day revolution with people rioting in the streets and turning on each other.  And the government knows it isn’t able to find and confiscate all the millions of firearms out there. Instead, the government is going about it in more sneaky, passive ways. Our freedoms are being chipped away through “back door” laws such as ammunition bans. It’s simple:  if we don’t have ammo, we can’t use our firearms.

The AR-15 is the most popular type of rifle and it uses 5.56/.223 ammunition.The two most common 5.56 rounds are the 55gr M193 and the 62g “green tip” M855.  Both of these have been widely available for sale to citizens for over 30 years. The ATF has announced that they are banning the M855 because it has “no sporting purpose” and it must be banned to “protect law enforcement officers” because it is “armor piercing.”

This is an outright lie!  It has nothing to do with protecting police officers.  Instead, it has everything to do with controlling our rifle ownership.The ATF exempted M855 from being defined as “armor piercing” back in 1986 since it “has been recognized as being suitable for target shooting with rifles due to its accuracy.” Now, all of the sudden without reason, ATF says this rifle ammo is not okay.

The Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act of 1986 has laws in place limiting armor-piercing ammo in order to protect police officers on the streets. However, this law only applies to handgun ammunition because handguns are a direct threat to officer safety.  Rifles are harder to conceal and maneuver, so they have never been a real safety issue.  In fact, there are no reports where this ammunition was used to kill an officer.

So why is ATF suddenly concerned? The answer is simple: it’s all about control.  If they win at banning M855 ammo, then they will eventually push for a universal ammo ban. Under this theory, all rifle ammo should be banned because ALL rifle ammo is armor-piercing, not just M855.  If they win on this ground it will give them a backdoor to ban ALL ammunition in the future.This move is just the tip of the gun-control iceberg. Since the government can’t ban rifles, they want to make it harder for us to get the cheap, reliable ammunition for AR-15s.

Needless to say, concerned Americans have been going nuts since ATF released this announcement of their proposal for new changes. The internet and social media has been ablaze with gun owners trying to get support to petition against the ATF’s ban. Lawmakers, sportsmen and gun groups have worked themselves up in opposition over the new proposal. The price of ammo skyrocketed as gun owners hoarded ammo caches in preparation for the looming ammo ban.

Mysteriously, the ATF suddenly issued a strangely vague “apology” last week via a Notice of Publishing Error. This statement was conveniently issued right on the heels of the proposal announcement while everyone was in a state of uproar. Apparently, the 2014 ATF Regulation Guide published online does not contain a listing of the exemptions, and therefore people misconstrued that to mean the exemptions were already lifted.  The ATF clarified that the exemptions were left out accidentally. ATF assured that this ammo was in fact still legal, there were no exceptions lifted to the armor-piercing ammunition and they apologized for this alleged “publishing error.”

This caused even more confusion.  This “apology” made people think that ATF was retracting its intent for the change proposal, even though ATF never said that. The rumors and innuendos continued to fly as everyone speculated on the fate of the beloved AR-15 ammo.  A few days later, ATF issues yet another vague but strategically-timed announcement. On March 10, ATF issued a statement indicating that, in lieu of the all backlash, they would not be pursing the change proposal:

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.

Once again, the internet and social media became instantly ablaze with gun owners and activist reveling in this news and breathing a collective sigh of relief at this so-called “win.”  But I caution people not to celebrate too soon.  A careful read of the statement shows that the ATF is making no promises to axe the proposed ban altogether. It merely says that due to the level of concern, the ATF is shelving the proposal at this time because it believes the issues “deserve further study.”

Is this an honest retraction, or a desperate attempt to temporarily quell the grumbling masses? Was ATF finally called out for trying to sneak an illegal, unilateral ban without notice to the public or Congress?  How many people were arrested last year as a result of this so-called “publishing error”? Was it just an attempt to drive up the ammo prices?  Is ATF still going to push this proposal, even though the citizens are against it?  We don’t know the answers to these lingering questions. It all seems fishy to me. I still don’t believe that ATF won’t fight for this ban in the future. ATF never made any promises either way in their statement.

Remember:  Gun control is not about guns.  It’s about control.  This is a lesson to be cautious of what our government is planning.  This won’t be the last we hear from ATF, I’m quite certain.

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