March 5, 2015

Members of Congress Express Concerns over BATFE Proposal to Ban Common Rifle Ammunition

On March 4, 239 bipartisan Members of Congress, supported by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) leadership and including many CSC Members, signed on to a letter written by CSC Member Congressman Bob Goodlatte and  Congressman James Sensenbrenner, to B. Todd Jones, Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The letter expressed concerns over the recently issued, “ATF Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c).”

This proposed rule would eliminate the previous exemption that common M855 ball (5.56mm) ammunition received from the ATF’s “armor piercing ammunition prohibition” and would therefore make it illegal to manufacture, import, and sell this ammunition that is used in some of the most common modern sporting rifles and other rifle platforms currently owned and used by sportsmen and women throughout the nation.

The letter indicates that this Framework does not comport with the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act (LEOPA) of 1986, which was established in order to protect police officers from the hazards presented by “armor piercing” projectiles. “ATF should refocus its efforts on serious threats to law enforcement officers from specially designed armor piercing projectiles that are intended for use in the sort of handguns commonly carried and concealed by criminals. Under no circumstances should ATF adopt a standard that will ban ammunition that is overwhelmingly used by law-abiding Americans for legitimate purposes.”

The 239 Members of Congress signed on to this letter on behalf of millions of law-abiding Americans who enjoy hunting and recreational target shooting, and who are the financial backbone for the American System of Conservation Funding.

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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