Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ammo Ban

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ATF Punched

March 10, 2015 was a Red Letter Day. No; it had nothing to do with Hillary’s e-mail “coming out party” at the United Nations. And, no, ISIS has not forsaken its bloodlust ways. It’s perhaps even more remarkable.

A federal government agency has backed down!

Specifically, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (affectionately known simply as “ATF”) publicly admitted failure and backed away from its misguided and disingenuous attempt to ban one of the most popular ammunition rounds in civilian use.

However, before we break open a bottle of The Bubbly, it must be kept in mind that this victory may be only temporary. As we know from actual experience over the past six years, the Obama Administration consistently and repeatedly has failed to live up to its self-styled status as the most honest and “transparent” in history.

This latest foray into heavy-handed regulatory warfare began a month ago when ATF – reversing a 29-year old decision – issued a “proposed” rule change that would designate .223-caliber “green tip” rifle cartridges (also known as “M855” ammunition) as “armor piercing.” The regulation would do this by removing the ammunition from the list of ammunition “exempted” from being considered “armor piercing.” The change would have made it unlawful for citizens – who use these cartridges by the millions in the widely-popular rifle platform known as the “AR-15” – to purchase or possess M855 ammunition.

M855 ammunition is used by target shooters and other sportsmen because of its accuracy, relatively reasonable price, and wide availability. It has never been documented to be have been used in handguns by criminals against law enforcement; despite claims by ATF that it is has been thus employed (which was the Bureau’s stated reason for the ban).

Unsaid in ATF’s proposed ban is the fact that the AR-15 rifle, which uses the M855 round, has long-been the “poster boy” for demonizing firearms by the gun-control crowd. This crowd, using the intimidation and fact-distortion tactics common to Liberals in politics and the media, has tried repeatedly in recent years to pass legislation limiting the availability of the AR-15. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for those of us who understand and support the Constitution’s Second Amendment protections, gun-control efforts in this regard have failed.

But, the gun control folks have a friend in ATF; and through regulatory sleight-of-hand, the Bureau tried to slip one over on the American people. The Bureau had gone so far as to publish a newly-revised regulatory manual explaining that M855 ammunition was now considered an unlawful “armor-piercing” round – even before the public comment period for the proposed regulation was ended. That proved to be a “Bridge too Far.” A massive, public anti-ban comment avalanche, coupled with several bipartisan letters in opposition to what ATF was doing from the Congress, has forced ATF to rescind its proposed ban.

Clearly, however, the leopard has not changed its spots. This Administration, including the current leadership of the ATF in particular, remains strongly committed to restricting, rather than protecting, the people’s right to keep and bear arms – including ammunition. If the dozens of members of Congress who publicly stood in opposition to this latest “executive action” by President Obama, and if the tens of thousands of average citizens who did the same, think that the battle is won and they can take their eye off the ball and rest easy, think again.

Just as Obama and his Department of Justice (which is about to get a protégé of Eric Holder as his replacement) have thumbed their nose at the rule of law in other areas, including immigration, if left to their own devices even for a moment, they will not hesitate to find some other way to accomplish what ATF was unable to do this go round.

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Barack_Obama_shooting

In answer to a question by White House reporter Fred Lucas, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest defended President Barack Obama’s plan to ban so-called AR-15 “armor piercing” ammunition that could be used in handguns against police and other law enforcement officers.

Earnest described the Executive Action as a “common sense” approach to gun violence and that the president has directed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to promulgate regulations to implement the ban of 5.56-millimeter “M855 green tip” rifle bullets so they cannot be in handguns.

238 congressional lawmakers voiced their opposition to the ban in a letter to BATFE Director, B. Todd Jones urging that the agency reconsider the proposed “Framework” to label these and other ammunition types as “armor piercing.” Quoting the letter:

“Millions upon millions of M855 rounds have been sold and used in the U.S., yet the ATF has not even alleged, much less offered evidence, that even one such round has ever been fired from a handgun at a police officer…”

Earnest sidestepped the question of President Obama changing his decision to impose the ban by directing reporters to the BATFE and the “standard process” of gathering public comment before the ban would be final – a arguably pointless exercise if the decision has already been made.

The National Rifle Association is marshalling its’ forces in Congress to pass legislation overturning the ban legislatively if the BATFE moves forward with President Obama’s ammo ban edict.

In an editorial published in The Daily Caller, Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action said:

“President Barack Obama made a public promise to enact his gun control agenda “with or without Congress.” Now he’s trying to make good on that promise”…through “a dictatorial ban on the popular M855 or “green tip” rifle ammunition – one of the most popular cartridges for the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15.

No vote by Congress. No will of the people. Through executive action, Obama is moving to outlaw the manufacture and importation of common ammunition that millions of law-abiding Americans use every day for target shooting, hunting, and self-defense. Obama figures if he can’t ban our guns, he’ll render them useless.

Predictably, the coming ban has triggered a run on the popular round at gun and retail sporting goods stores with prices spiking from $10-$11 for a box of twenty rounds to $20 or more.

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