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Old 02-14-2015, 10:33   #1
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BATFE To Ban Common AR-15 Ammo

Beans and bullets, boys ... beans and bullets.

BATFE To Ban Common AR-15 Ammo

In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.

It isn’t even the third week of February, and the BATFE has already taken three major executive actions on gun control. First, it was a major change to what activities constitute regulated “manufacturing” of firearms. Next, BATFE reversed a less than year old position on firing a shouldered “pistol.” Now, BATFE has released a “Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c)”, which would eliminate M855’s exemption to the armor piercing ammunition prohibition and make future exemptions nearly impossible.

By way of background, federal law imposed in 1986 prohibits the manufacture, importation, and sale by licensed manufacturers or importers, but not possession, of “a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely . . . from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium.” Because there are handguns capable of firing M855, it “may be used in a handgun.” It does not, however, have a core made of the metals listed in the law; rather, it has a traditional lead core with a steel tip, and therefore should never have been considered “armor piercing.” Nonetheless, BATFE previously declared M855 to be “armor piercing ammunition,” but granted it an exemption as a projectile “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.”

Now, however, BATFE says that it will henceforth grant the “sporting purposes” exception to only two categories of projectiles:

Category I: .22 Caliber Projectiles

A .22 caliber projectile that otherwise would be classified as armor piercing ammunition under 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(B) will be considered to be “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section 921(a)(17)(C) if the projectile weighs 40 grains or less AND is loaded into a rimfire cartridge.

Category II: All Other Caliber Projectiles

Except as provided in Category I (.22 caliber rimfire), projectiles that otherwise would be classified as armor piercing ammunition will be presumed to be “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section 921(a)(17)(C) if the projectile is loaded into a cartridge for which the only handgun that is readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade is a single shot handgun. ATF nevertheless retains the discretion to deny any application for a “sporting purposes” exemption if substantial evidence exists that the ammunition is not primarily intended for such purposes.

BATFE is accepting comments until March 16, 2015 on this indefensible attempt to disrupt ammunition for the most popular rifle in America. Check back early next week for a more in-depth analysis of this “framework” and details on how you can submit comments.


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Old 02-14-2015, 10:52   #2
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Will a ban on FMJ projectiles be next?

Last edited by mojaveman; 02-15-2015 at 18:19.
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Old 02-14-2015, 14:39   #3
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Old 02-14-2015, 15:52   #4
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Old 02-14-2015, 22:47   #5
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Personally, I think it's an administration plan because they don't want all the M855 ammo at best, or just demiled bullets, at worst, that's being replaced with M855A1 to hit the surplus market.

Of course, the also means that M855A1 will be classed as AP and we'll never see it on the market as well.

We may have Uncle over a barrel on this one. The M855 bullet does NOT meet the part of the statuary construction of an AP bullet because of it's lead core. It's possible that it might meet the definition if the jacket is thick enough to hit the "25%" part of the statute. Someone is going to have to do some serious lab work to make that determination.

Here's the title for the proposed rule:

"Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c)”

Here's the method for comments from the horse's a......mouth.

How to comment – from the BATFE

ATF will carefully consider all comments, as appropriate, received on or before March 16, 2015, and will give comments received after that date the same consideration if it is practical to do so, but assurance of consideration cannot be given except as to comments received on or before March 16, 2015. ATF will not acknowledge receipt of comments. Submit comments in any of three ways (but do not submit the same comments multiple times or by more than one method):

ATF email: APAComments@atf.gov

Fax: (202) 648-9741.

Mail: Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denise Brown, Enforcement Programs and Services, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226; telephone: (202) 648-7070.

I would add what one blogger has posted on her board, and I agree with:

However, please do not bother to comment if you cannot express your thoughts clearly and in a well-reasoned, somewhat spell-checked fashion. "OBMA MUSLIM FUKKR MOLAN LEBE! Come n get em! SHALL NOT BE ENFRINGED, MF'ER!" is unlikely to impress (or scare) anybody.

As the great Jewish bandito warrior poet spoke from his bathtub, "When it's time to shoot, shoot; don't talk." The corollary to that is "When it's time to talk, talk; don't shoot your mouth off."
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:47   #6
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AR pistols and general "assault" pistols exist because of manufacturers working around the NFA. "Short Barrel Rifles" only exist because of the NFA.

An AR15 with a barrel under 16 inches without a stock is a Pistol.

An AR15 with a barrel under 16 inches with a stock is a Short barrel rifle.

Or either, with an OAL of less than 26'' will be a pistol or a SBR.
(excluding AOW's and OAL decisions by ATF that change opinions on weapon classification. eg Franklin AOW/Pistol) (further legal def. in GCA.)

Two weapons with the same barrel lengths, one configured as a pistol, one as an SBR, both configurations are of equal overall length category, or presumed, "conceal-ability" as referenced in the law. The only difference is one may be a pistol while the other is a registered NFA weapon.

A common OAL of a common handguns, such as a Glock, is substantially shorter. There is not common hand guns of this common OAL that have armor piercing ammunition in common civilian circulation. This is supported by the separation of typical handgun ammunition vs. rifle ammunition.

Further, statistically saying that crime is generally with hand guns is true according to FBI crime statistics. However, FBI does not clearly state if the handguns are common OAL handguns or assault pistols. This is not a fair comparison in generalizing how concealable the weapon is, nor its statistical use in crime.

There is very little to no data on how many times an assault pistol of any of these armor piercing rifle chambering has been used in US crime.
Therefore the definitions of pistol and rifle are not traditional in the sense of a common handgun. The application of this projectile can be of equal use in a full size rifle , short barrel rifle, or pistol/assault pistol. All of which are legally registered weapons in their respective classifications. All of which have various "sporting" purposes and are in common use.

Alternatively, if the view of the 2nd under current SCOTUS is of weapons in
common military use, "arms" would include ammunition, which would include ammunition in common military use. Frustratingly, it should include machine guns and short barreled rifles in the very least. But they do not view it that way.

(The elephant in the room is that the purpose of the 2nd is to NOT allow the government to ever have the upper hand. The argument that civilians cannot own certain ammo because it is dangerous to government and LEO is completely against the purpose of power equilibrium in the amendment. There was never a sporting purpose at all.)
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Old 02-15-2015, 14:15   #7
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Dear ATF,

I am emailing this as a comment for the proposed changes to the SS109/M855 exemption to the armor piercing rules.

Your proposal states the change will have no impact on people already in possession of this ammunition.

This is incorrect. Several states have laws prohibiting possession and/or use of armor piercing ammunition. Some states, in fact, consider a person in possession of AP ammunition a felon. Considering how widespread and common this ammunition is, I believe implementing this proposal would be an extreme burden on the unsuspecting public. This ammunition is sold at Walmart. Making felons out of consumers overnight seems to be a terrible decision.

I am also confused about how SS109/M855 was considered armor piercing to begin with. Most believe it is because part of the core material is the steel penetrator. But the definition in the code specifies the core be constructed entirely of (one of the prohibited materials). The majority of the core of the SS109/M855 is lead. The word "entirely" exempts SS109/M855 from the definition of armor piercing. The steel "penetrator" inside the bullet makes up less than 50% of the weight/volume. No rational person would say that the core is made entirely of steel.

In my opinion, the special exemption given to SS109/M855 was unnecessary as it never met the definition to begin with.

Thank you for consideration of this comment.


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Old 02-15-2015, 16:04   #8
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Thank you for that example Bettendorf.

I was contemplating working on my own version and posting something down the road - your example certainly gets the job done in a respectful and thoughtful manner.
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Old 02-15-2015, 19:52   #9
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:09   #10
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I enjoy Jerry's sense of humor - hope others do, too.

"Jerry goes over some of the details of why the military uses the m855 green tip ammunition and why it is not actually considered a true armor piercing round. He also has a little fun along the way!"


Sample letter to ATF in video drop down.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:09   #11
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I don't understand what they hope to accomplish with this ban. Most of us are stocked up on 5.56. After living through 2 major ammo shortages since 2008, nobody's going to dump their stockpile no matter what it's comprised of.

The fascists may be morons, but they rarely move a pawn for no good reason. Surely it's not just an eye-poke to gun owners? Misdirection?
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:16   #12
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....knock knock knock

We're here to inspect your ammunition.
Opinions stated in this post are solely those of the author, and in no way reflect the opinions or policies of The Department of Defense, The United States Army, or The 1st Special Forces Regiment. These opinions are provided purely as social commentary and are not meant to be used for mission planning or navigation.

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Old 02-23-2015, 12:59   #13
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Originally Posted by Billy L-bach View Post
....knock knock knock

We're here to inspect your ammunition.
No worry's, here it comes!
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Old 02-23-2015, 13:39   #14
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How about we move to ban the ATF?

Talk about a federal agency that is long overdue to be defunded.

At the same time we need to end the "federal" regulation on alcohol and the state appointed "alcohol dealers".

The states do just fine in regulating firearms. And don't make me laugh at tobacco, like we need a federal agency to place a tax on tobacco?

Time to tell your pols that the ATF needs to go away.
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:26   #15
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Fax the ATF & Congress your objection to the proposed ban on M855 / SS109 sporting ammunition.

Here is a convenient link to express your point on the issue: http://www.savem855.com/
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