March 19, 2015

BATFE Backs Down From Proposal to Ban Common Rifle Ammo

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) announced on March 10 that it would “not at this time seek to issue a final framework” which would determine whether certain rifle ammunition projectiles are “primarily intended for sporting purposes.”

The proposed framework would eliminate the previous exemption that common rifle ammunition received from the BATFE’s “armor piercing ammunition prohibition” and therefore would make it illegal to manufacture, import, or sell this ammunition that is used in the most common modern sporting rifles currently used by American’s sportsmen and women.

With more than 80,000 comments submitted to the BATFE during the public comment period, they announced that the issues addressed “deserve further study.”

On March 4, 239 bipartisan Members of Congress, supported by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) leadership and many CSC Members, signed on to a letter expressing concerns over the framework, which was sent to the BATFE Director, B. Todd Jones. Shortly after, on March 9, 36 organizations from the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP), including the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) sent a letter to Director Jones requesting an extension of 60 days for comments on the framework to be submitted.

The BATFE announcement to pause the final framework which could ban common rifle ammunition, and to consider concerns of hundreds of Members of Congress, several AWCP organizations, and America’s sportsmen’s community, is a step in the right direction for protecting the tradition of hunting and the shooting sports.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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