It’s not new news that the ATF changed its ruling on shouldering the Sig brace. It’s not new news that the ATF has changed its ruling on the import of 5.45mm 7N6 ammunition. And it’s not surprising that the ATF doesn’t have its act together to stay consistent on anything.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised that the ATF announced that it is considering changing the classification of 5.56mm M855 “green tip” ammunition. There’s a long story the ATF gives for their reasoning behind it, which you can read HERE, but to summarize it:
M855 was declared to have a “sporting use” back when the only .223/5.56 guns were M16/AR15 rifles. Now that there are “‘AR-type’ handguns” (as the ATF calls them) that can chamber and fire M855, it can be considered a “handgun round” with a core made partly of steel, therefore meeting the ATF’s definition of an armor piercing bullet.
So, can anyone guess what the next round to be panic purchased in absurd quantities will be? Honestly, I was expecting this to happen ever since the ruling on 7N6 ammo imports. That ruling was also because of a handgun that chambered a round originally designed for rifles, in that case 5.45x39mm. The biggest surprise for me is that it took the ATF this long to realize it had a free move to ban more common types of ammo. After all, it’s not like they can just let us have our rights easily…
This latest ban on “armor piercing handgun ammunition” is just another effect of the absurd laws currently in place regarding the definition of handguns, rifles, and short barreled rifles. If we could just have a rifle with a shorter (and less ballistically effective) barrel without having to do five legal backflips through burning hoops, there would not be nearly the market for AR pistols that there currently is. Unfortunately, freedom isn’t free and rights aren’t yours unless you fight for them (and sometimes not even then).
The best thing we can do at the moment is to submit comments to the ATF showing our disapproval of their continued flip-flopping on their definitions, and let them know we are not happy with their restrictions on our rights. Please be polite in your submissions and send your comments to either:
ATF website: APAComments@atf.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
Fax: (202) 648-9741
Mail: Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments.
Next year we will probably find out that the alloying metals used in lead .22LR ammo qualify it as AP ammo, since they never expected a .22LR handgun to be made…