Although the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives folded last week on its proposed changes to how it regulates ammo, questions remain as to why they were introduced in the first place.
The ATF said its received an increase in exemption requests for armor piercing ammo since 2011 — 30 requests in four years — and details in the proposal stem back to November 2012, when it met with representatives from the gun industry, law enforcement, and non-governmental organizations.
In the meetings, 25 groups provided input on how the ATF could exempt armor piercing ammunition for sporting purposes. Due in large part to an increase in requests for exemption, the ATF said it sought to ease restrictions for ammo legally defined as armor piercing but primarily used for recreational purposes.
Readers take immediate notice to the possible ban on 5.56 “green tip” ammo in the 17-page document. The ammunition, which comprises M855 cartridges and SS109 bullets, was originally exempted because it’s a rifle round, but due to the release of new firearm designs, like AR pistols, the ammo is now considered armor piercing even though there’s little evidence to suggest it’s used to attack cops.
The Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act defines armor piercing ammo as having a projectile that’s larger than .22 caliber, contains specific metals — like steel — and can be fired out of a handgun.
The agency said 25 groups, including law enforcement, ammo companies, and both gun control and pro-gun lobbies, participated in the meetings. That list includes:
- National Fraternal Order of Police
- International Association of Chiefs of Police
- Office of Science and Technology of the National Institute of Justice
- FBI Ballistic Research Facility
- Homeland Security Investigations Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
- Brady Center to prevent Gun Violence
- Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
- Violence Policy Center
- Mayors Against Illegal Guns
- National Association of Chiefs of Police
- Cutting Edge Bullets
- Remington Arms
- FGI Ammunition
- Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute
- Hornady Manufacturing
- Winchester Ammunition
- National Shooting Sports Foundation
- ATK Federal
- Oak Ridge National Lab
- Mark Barnes and Associates
- Associate Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
- National Rifle Association
- FAIR Trade Group
- Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
- Safari Club International
Details of the meetings are not publicly available, but Guns.com submitted a Freedom Of Information Act request for more information.