News has been circulating lately that the ATF has proposed a change to how they define “sporting purpose” to effectively ban M855 and SS109 ammunition. This is clearly in response to the huge growth in popularity of AR15 based pistols and SBRs but, the bigger concern is that it creates conditions to effectively ban all ammunition…certainly nearly all rifle ammunition because it can be argued that nearly all rifle ammunition is capable of piercing some armor and is therefore “armor piercing.” In addition to this, we now have “pistol” versions of many, if not most, popular rifle platforms such as the AR15/AR10, FN FAL, and HK G3.
Specifically, the ATF has stated they will only grant the “sporting purpose” exemption to two categories of ammunition going forward:
Category I: .22 Caliber Projectiles
A .22 caliber projectile that otherwise would be classified as armor piercing ammunition under 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(B) will be considered to be “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section 921(a)(17)(C) if the projectile weighs 40 grains or less AND is loaded into a rimfire cartridge.
Category II: All Other Caliber Projectiles
Except as provided in Category I (.22 caliber rimfire), projectiles that otherwise would be classified as armor piercing ammunition will be presumed to be “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section 921(a)(17)(C) if the projectile is loaded into a cartridge for which the only handgun that is readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade is a single shot handgun. ATF nevertheless retains the discretion to deny any application for a “sporting purposes” exemption if substantial evidence exists that the ammunition is not primarily intended for such purposes.
It is clear that the Obama Administration, with no means to enact new gun control through Congress, is using the ATF to infringe on the 2nd Amendment. All that said, the ATF claims they will accept and “carefully consider all comments, as appropriate, received on or before March 16, 2015.” The ATF will not acknowledge receipt of comments. Comments can be submitted in any of three ways (do not submit the same comments multiple times or by more than one method):
ATF email: APAComments@atf.gov
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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denise Brown, Enforcement Programs and Services, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226; telephone: (202) 648-7070.