President Obama’s visceral hatred for Second Amendment is well known, and so it isn’t surprising that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) under his control is attempting to ban the most common practice ammunition for the best-selling rifle in the nation, the AR-15.
Currently, the ATF is attempting to ban common M855 ball ammunition by reclassifying it as “armor-piercing” ammunition, even though the bullet, with its 80-percent (by weight) lead core and small mild steel insert doesn’t come close to meeting the legal definition.
Congress has quickly recognized the attempt to ban M855 for the attack on the Second Amendment that it clearly is, as the ATF’s “framework” argument now aimed at M855 ammunition for 5.56 NATO rifles could then be quickly used to ban almost all rifle ammunition in every caliber if unopposed.
Fortunately for law-abiding Americans, it appears that the audacious attempt on the heart of the Second Amendment by Obama’s ATF may end up backfiring.
With lightning speed, opponents of President Obama’s bid to ban a popular cartridge used in the top selling AR-15 semi-automatic rifle have won support from 40 percent of the House of Representatives, and Senate foes are also moving fast to build opposition.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, working with the National Rifle Association, has collected the signatures of 172 House members in just two days on a letter questioning the surprise proposal targeting the 5.56 M855 used by gun enthusiasts, associates told Secrets Saturday.
And in the Senate, Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is spearheading a new drive to collect signatures from his chamber to stop the move.
The shocking swiftness at building opposition to the proposal by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is the latest display by many in Congress to leave Second Amendment issues alone, and it also is a testament to sportsmen and pro-gun groups like the NRA to derail the president’s gun-control efforts.
Florida Congressman Thomas J. Rooney is launching a legislative counterattack against the Obama end-run around the Constitution. Rooney’s H.R. 1180 is called the “Protecting Second Amendment Rights Act.”
“The Obama Administration’s proposal would unilaterally strip law-abiding hunters and sportsmen of their Second Amendment rights,” Rooney said. “Congress has made its intentions clear that this ammunition is for sporting purposes and should not be restricted. We cannot and we will not stand by while the Obama Administration tramples on the Constitution, the rule of law, and the Second Amendment rights of hunters in my district and across the country.”
While the language for Rooney’s bill hasn’t yet been made available, it could be as simple and powerful as the “armor-piercing” definition change within LEOPA’ 86 we proposed here at Bearing Arms previously.
(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—
(i) a projectile or projectile core
which may be useddesigned for use in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper or depleted uranium; or
That simple change in the language of the bill, striking “which maybe used” and replacing it with “designed for use” would remove all purpose-designed rifle ammunition from LEOPA, which was the original intent of the authors who wrote the bill who never wanted rifle ammunition to be affected.
The bill would not only block the ATF from banning common rifle caliber bullets in the present and future, but would also reverse existing bans on rifle ammunition common on the world market, such as the ATF’s April 2014 ban on 7N6 military surplus ammunition popular in 5.45×39 rifles, and a long-standing ban on M43-style 7.62×39 ammunition with a mild steel core.
If inexpensive 5.45×39 and 7.62×39 are free to flow back into the American market from foreign stockpiles, it could accelerate an already growing interest in firearms chambered for these cartridges, and could see a reintroduction of firearms chambered in these calibers as well in other platforms.