The ATF Ban on 223 Ammunition: Talking Points

The ATF has opened a public-comment period until March 16. Email to give your opinion. Write your congressmen and senators. Stand up now or your freedom will be diminished by this absurd proposed rule. When you write them, here are some talking points you might consider putting down in your own words:

  • The definition for what constitutes “armor piercing” reads: “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. The M855 ball ammunition the ATF wants to ban as “armor piercing” doesn’t have a core made of the metals listed in what legally makes a bullet “armor piercing.” The M855 actually has a lead core with a steel tip.
  • The 223 is made for sporting purposes and thus is exempt from the Gun Control Act of 1968.
  • In 1986, your organization – the ATF – specifically exempted the .223 round that you are now proposing to ban. No change in the architecture of the cartridge has occurred, so what has changed that is causing you to propose this rule?
  • The ban against armor-piercing ammunition was designed to save the lives of police and law enforcement. So this begs the question: Is .223 M855 ball ammunition currently a problem for law enforcement? Or, more precisely, is M855 ball ammunition when shot from handguns killing law-enforcement officers? According to the FBI’s “uniform crime reports” about 2.5 percent of all murders are committed with rifles of any caliber. The FBI does not break out its statistics by caliber. One will be hard pressed to find a single murder of a police officer in a shooting where someone used a handgun chambered in .223—much less one using M855 ball ammunition.
  • This is a solution in search of a problem

If you have other talking points that folks could consider when they write, please post them here. Thank you.

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