ATF proposal gets mostly critical response, agency says issues deserve further study

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will not move forward with changes that could result in the ban of 5.56 “green tip” ammunition, the agency said in a notice today.

The ATF received more than 80,000 comments, mostly critical, on the proposal it issued last month to alter framework for regulating armor piercing ammo.

In the proposal, the agency suggests it wants to give itself more flexibility to exempt armor piercing ammo for sporting purposes. But instead of changes to the regulatory process, the public zeroed in on the possible ban of 5.56 “green tip” ammo that would enact if the framework is not changed.

Of the thousands of comments, the ATF suggests it needs to review its options.

“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,” the notice reads.

The notice continues, “accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework.”

When the comment period closes March 16, the ATF says it will process comments, evaluate issues raised, issue another proposal and then open it for public comment before proceeding with any changes.