ATF Proposes Ban on M855 Ammunition
In the preceding month, ATF announced a proposal than would remove the “sporting purposes” exemption for M855 “green tip” ammunition, classifying it as armor piercing handgun ammunition, effectively banning the round for civilian use. There was some question as to whether M855 meets the statutory definition of armor piercing ammunition under federal law, as its core contains lead, with a steel penetrator at the tip. Federal law defines armor piercing ammunition as:
- A projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
- A full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.
It should be noted that M855 is considered an “enhanced penetration” round by the military, and is not classified as armor piercing. NRA has argued ATF exceeded its authority in its classification of M855 as an armor piercing round in the first place.
It’s pretty clear that the purpose of the proposed ban is to eliminate a cheap source of surplus target ammunition for AR-15 shooters, and drive ammunition prices even higher. Thanks to pressure from 238 members of Congress, writing in opposition to the proposal, ATF has decided to back down for now. It is worth noting that our representative, Mike Fitzpatrick, was not among the signers of the Congressional letter. He was the only member of the Pennsylvania Republican Congressional Delegation who did not sign.
ATF is still taking public comment on the proposal up through March 16, 2015. I would like to make a motion to send a letter both to ATF, outlining the club’s objection to the proposal, and to Rep. Fitzpatrick, expressing disappointment that his name did not appear on the letter.
There are several reciprocity bills working their way thorugh Congress. The bills that look to have the most traction are H.R. 986 and Senate bill, S.498. Both bills would protect the right of individuals with concealed carry permits from their home state, to carry in any other state which does not prohibit concealed carry (which at this point, no state does). There are two other house bills, H.R. 923 and H.R. 402, which would largely do the same thing, but these bills have fewer co-sponsors as of now.
Senator Toomey is a cosponsor of S.498, however Senator Casey is not.
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick has not signed on to any of the House Bills.
Please write Senator Casey and Rep. Fitzpatrick and ask them to support all of these bills.
NRA is making a big push to get Sunday Hunting passed in the Pennsylvania Legislature. This has been surprisingly difficult to get passed. It is hoped that this might be a measure that Governor Wolf would sign if it passes out of the legislature. Please write your state legislators to get Sunday hunting approved. Pennsylvania is one of the few states that still restrict Sunday hunting.