Gun Control

Great News: ATF Backs Down (For Now) on Big Ammo Ban

Agency admits "the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical" of the plan


I reported a couple of weeks back on the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) unwarranted new attempt to ban common AR-15 ammo (M855 "green tip") as "armor piercing" even though by its own statutory definition it isn't.

A happier followup, ATF announced in a press release today:

Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study. Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework.

This may indicate more a delay of bad behavior from ATF than cessation of this planned ammo grab, but at least ATF understands the politics of this issue now, and that those politics works against them. (Though as a mere agency, they can often afford not to care what mere citizens or even lawmakers think.)

Townhall has some more context. Associated Press reports that "the agency received more than 80,000 public comments" and that "Hundreds of lawmakers, including 52 U.S. senators, also objected."

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  1. “Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law”

    No. No it didn’t.

    1. “Although the ATF attempted to circumvent the Second Amendment and cowered when confronted…”

    2. My first reaction as well. What a transparent lie.

      I am really not sure why they wanted to do this. It would be pointless unless it is a trial balloon for banning more ammunition.

      .223 is not particularly able to defeat armor. Nearly any rifle can. Hell, I have a 25-06 that makes .223 look like a child’s pop-gun and a 375 H&H that is to the 25-06 what the 25-06 is to the .223.

      1. It was a test balloon. EPA goes after lead, ATF goes after steel.

    3. That’s the classic “We got called out on it, better come up with an excuse” excuse.

      1. We’ll be back.

    4. “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

      Where is their ‘good faith’? They are just more lying, hypocritical gun grabbers.

    5. So – for all those many long years that the law in question has been in existence and NOT been interpreted that way was a “bad faith interpretation”?

  2. As good a time as any for an inaugural comment.

    Realistically speaking, this wouldn’t have lasted long anyway, and I believe so because there is precedent. Back in the “post 9/11 world,” the BATFE tried to attach more strict regulations to ammonium perchlorate composite rocket propellant, commonly used by thousands of hobbyists, by calling it an explosive, even though it did not meet the statutory definition of an explosive.

    Tripoli Rocketry Association took the BATFE to court over it and won. If the BATFE lost to a relatively small organization like Tripoli, they would never have beaten the NRA in court.

    1. Welcome.

      The perfect comment to link to the Pepcon Explosion:

      1. Damn. And I thought the time Wildman Rocketry lost its entire stock to a trailer fire was bad.

    2. John Roberts would declare the ban a penalty and a tax at the same time.

    3. True….on the other hand, it took almost 10 years for the BATFE to get it’s pee-pee slapped for that, IIRC. We could hope it wouldn’t have taken so long in this case, given that there are a larger number of gun enthusiasts than rocketry enthusiasts and that the NRA has much more clout, but the wheels of justice grind slowly, when they grind at all.

    4. The amateur rocketry guys must really be gluttons for punishment. The have to deal with both the BATFE and once they’ve reached a certain level, the FAA.

      It must somewhat akin to masturbating with sandpaper.

      1. Thanks for that. I winced so hard I might have pulled something in my lower back.

      2. To be fair, the FAA, in my experience, is pretty reasonable. If you’re expecting to fly over a certain altitude, you just need to fill out a waiver form ahead of time and get it approved, and I’ve never heard of one being refused. Best part is, if you’re a Tripoli or NAR member, the organization takes care of it for you and all you have to do is show up at a sanctioned launch event.

        The BATFE, however, was going to make every single hobbyist pay a ridiculous fee for a low explosive user permit, in spite of APCP not being an explosive by their own definition. I know that Ann Coulter is despicable, but one thing she got right was “Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be a convenience store chain, not a government agency.”

      3. Sounds like the run up for the worlds shortest “Man walks into a doctor joke”
        Man: “So Doc, Recently I have found I can only jack off with sandpaper,preferably 40 grit. Do you think this is a serious problem?”
        Doctor: “Not for long.”

  3. Too bad all the other ‘freedoms’ weren’t shaped like an M855 bullet.

    1. I hate Americans for their firearm freedoms.. or maybe I’m just jealous. Damn it.

      1. What are you doing in Canukistan? Move to Crystal River, FL or St. Francisville, LA

  4. ATF endeavored to create a proposal that ? balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen

    Hmm. No other interests to be “balanced”?

    the vast majority of the comments … include issues that deserve further study.

    Perhaps the politics and tax returns of the commenters?

    1. More like the Agency realized there is an election in a year and a half and they had just made themselves a campaign issue.

    1. I had no idea that Clay Aiken worked for Vice.

    2. I haven’t even watched the vid – but i’m betting they don’t even bother mentioning the bullshit the local politicians have tried w/ Ares Armor, and how Ares has won at least 1 suit (of a couple) against the local pols…and has been threatened by officials to try and get him to turn over his client lists for ‘unfinished receivers’… and has had bullshit regulations thrown at him which tried to prevent him putting up any signs for his business.. basically, every kind of petty bureaucratic oppression imaginable, and some less petty….

      I’m sure they’ll still make it sound like he’s some “unregulated nutjob”

    3. And I have always enjoyed some of Vice’s better Gonzo styled writings on sex,drugs,rock and roll and the like. They are based out of NYC though so some of the travel and anything gun related makes me think their writers are clueless urban hipsters with cultural biases and prejudices they just can’t quite get past.

  5. “the agency received more than 80,000 public comments” and that “Hundreds of lawmakers, including 52 U.S. senators, also objected.”

    So which one do you suppose carried more weight at the ATF?

    1. Depends on which Senators objected.

    2. The lawmakers could castrate the ATF if they felt it was in their interest.

  6. How many runs has this administration taken at us so far? All without success. Every effort they make should be slapped down just like this one.

    I don’t think they get it. We are not going to give up our guns.

    The only reason anyone wants to disarm you and make you helpless is so that they can put a boot on your neck.

    1. “Bitter clinger”

      1. Still don’t have a gun yet, huh?

    2. The relationship between the ATF and people who believe in the 2nd Amendment is like the relationship between terrorists and the people trying to thwart them. The ATF only needs to be successful once, while 2nd amendment supporters needs to be successful every time.

  7. Politician: They hate us for our freedoms!!!

    (While systemically ensuring the further erosion of the vestiges of freedom, and advancing evermore slavery through the violent state)

    1. Therefore we must destroy our freedoms in order to save them…

  8. So are millennials as willing to stand up for the Second Amendment as GenX (maybe) and the much despised Boomers are?

    Quick, to the Pollmobile!

  9. So Bo had a pretty awesome meltdown today.

    You guys wouldn’t understand, though. You’re all a bunch of republican racists.

    1. He’s not here, apparently.

      Since he’s not watching, let’s all make racist comments and vote for Mitch McConnell.

    2. Where was the melt-down, I just noticed that he suddenly stopped posting.

      1. It’s in the OU thread. Or as I am trying to get everyone to call it, “The Great Bo-Down of 2015”.

          1. Holy shit. Bo went full Botard on that one, I’m kind of sorry I missed it in real time.

            1. I think it is the beginning of the end – as one wise commenter said, he will end up at Salon … “I was a libertarian once…”

    3. Pl?ya Manhattan.|3.10.15 @ 11:31PM|#
      “So Bo had a pretty awesome meltdown today.”

      I don’t agree.
      Bo’s narcissism is far beyond your conception; he will eagerly be back tomorrow, again claiming that HE understands the issue at hand and no one, *but NO ONE!*, else does. And you and you and you and you are wrong and racist and so cons and other nasty things for calling him on his bullshit!
      You presume some recognizable level of self-awareness; Bo is immune to such considerations. Please forgive the godwining, but in searching my knowledge, it takes a reference to Hitler or YoungUn to approach that level of ignorant self-righteousness.

      1. And I’d add that if Bo ever ended up in a position of authority, those subject to that authority would be well advised to remove themselves from that condition.
        That man or woman is dangerous in any position which allows control over others.

      2. Please forgive the godwining, but in searching my knowledge, it takes a reference to Hitler or YoungUn to approach that level of ignorant self-righteousness.

        Breathtaking, ain’t it?

        Can honestly say, he is the least self-aware individual I’ve ever had the displeasure of coming in contact with.

        1. “Breathtaking, ain’t it?”
          It is.
          It’s worthy of some study to find out how a human can survey responses to his/her statements, find them universally negative and decide the world has a problem.
          There is no mandate that we are liked by everyone and none of us are. But when you are despised by nearly everyone, you’d think it was time for some self-reflection.
          Not Bo! No sir! Bo is, uh, the universal, self-proclaimed, asshole.

    4. Just out of curiosity, what year is Bo claiming to be now? Was he a 1L or 2L last year?

      1. “1L” or “2L”

        1. “1L” or “2L” as a correction to the final sentence, not answering my own question.

          1. 2L

            If that is what is coming out of law schools today, I am utterly secure until retirement 20 years from now.

    5. “Pl?ya Manhattan.|2015/03/10 23:31:03|#5144934

      So Bo had a pretty awesome meltdown today.

      You guys wouldn’t understand, though. You’re all a bunch of republican racists.”

      If i’d remembered, I would have pointed out to him today = in the first SAE thread where he went bonkers going, “YOU SHOULD ALL BE DENOUNCING THIS, BUT YOU’RE NOT BECAUSE UR RACIST RIGHTWINGERS AND THATS WHY LIBERTARIANS NEVER APPEAL TO MINORITIES ETC”

      ….that later in that thread? “EdWuncler” popped in and said, “Uh, Im black, and you’re an annoying dick” (paraphrased)

      I would have reminded him of that today, but it slipped my mind. Priceless, though. Really, it would have been like that Marshall McLuhan bit in Annie Hall = “You know nothing of my work”

      1. “….that later in that thread? “EdWuncler” popped in and said, “Uh, Im black, and you’re an annoying dick” (paraphrased)”

        I read over that thread. The whole time he was pontificating I was thinking that he doesn’t realize a few, more than a few(?) of the people he is attempting to lecture are not white. He assumes everyone here is the stereotypical youngish white male libertarian type.

        1. “Stupid is, as stupid does”… (paraphrasing)

    6. Seriously, WHY THE FUCK do you guys still engage him???

      There is absolutely nothing to be gained from conversing with him. He has nothing to add to a conversation and he certainly won’t gain anything since he fucking knows better.

  10. The ATF is the most embarrassing government agency in existence.

    That they’re still allowed to exist is the real nutpunch.

    1. I would say that, the ATF are the biggest shitbags out there. (Aside from the DEA).

      1. The one good thing is that they’re completely incompetent. They’re like the Barney Fife of federal agencies.

        1. +1 flaming cluster fuck

    2. as I’ve pointed out before = they’re one of the most oppressive agencies in america….and everything within their purview*? Is entirely “Legal”…. which should give concern to people who think that ‘legalizing’ marijuana is going to be entirely federal-meddle-free.

      (*yes, i know = “Explosives” is now part of their mandate, and it ruins my point – so fuck that)

  11. I have confidence the BATF will find other ways to be horrifyingly stupid and oppressive if this particular measure is deemed unworthy of their ambitions.

  12. I’m glad they backed down. I really didn’t think they would given what happened with 7N6 last year.

  13. ADVICE WANTED: think Ima break down and buy an AR in 556/223. They’re just so damned fun, I can’t resist any more. Red dot sight and we’ll be golden.

    You guys have luck/preference with any brand? I’m looking to spend up to maybe $1500 (that’s with no optics or anything – just the gun). Looking at
    – Daniel Defense
    – Ruger
    – Stag
    at this point. Colt seems a little too plain for the money (no picatanney rails, etc) – I don’t like Sig…

    Also looking at two 9mm options – Stag 9 (AR operation made specifically for 9mm) and the “JRC” (Just Right Carbines) 9mm semi auto (never heard of them, but looks like a cool weapon – reviews I’ve found indicate it’s a decent weapon.

    You 2A freak racist, homophobic nihilist Postrel haters got any thoughts? Appreciate it!

    1. There is a Colt with rails IIRC, maybe 6240? I had a colt with Magpul furniture which I sold to buy a Larue. The Colt worked well but like you say was a bit plain.

      I have not owned or fired any of the brands you listed but I have liked what I have seen come out of DD.

      I have no opinion on the 9mm offerings.

      Have you considered building your own from a stripped lower? If you have the slightest amount of mechanical skills it is a lot of fun. Also, super helpful in teaching how the thing works. All lowers are essentially the same so you can save money there and get an upper that is much nicer than would fit in your budget as a complete. You could come in at around $1100 with a spikes stripped lower, Magpul furniture and a BCM complete upper.

      1. good thoughts about building – I have a friend who makes them and offered to oversee me. Might be a good option – thanks for the input!

    2. I have a Spike’s midlength I can only say good things about. Zero FTE or FTF, comfortable, more accurate than I am. Was $890 to my door IIRC including FFL fees and Washington state sales tax on the lower. If you buy the upper and lower separate you can get a slight price break, but you have to buy the case from Spike’s separate if you want it.

      Also, last time I looked aimsurplus had Spike’s uppers with Magpul MOE handguard for $500 even (no backup sights). If you add in the cost of Magpul backup “iron” sights it’s cheaper than direct from Spikes, and also gives you the option to going direct to Troy sights if you prefer those.

      AR-15s are a great platform.

      1. thanks!

    3. The main problem with my AR is my wife likes it so much she basically claimed it as her own.

  14. For or against, anyone with two working synapses view this as back-door gun banning.
    A clear violation of the second amendment.. without which, there is no first amendment.

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