BATFE Retreats From M855 Ammo Ban

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has done a temporary about face in its attempt to infringe on our Second Amendment rights via banning the M855 ammunition. I’m sure that most of my readers already know of the proposed ban, but for those who may not, here’s a thumbnail sketch of what has occurred.

Back in the 1970s the U.S. military began experimenting with different bullets and loadings for its 5.56 x 45 NATO cartridge. In 1980 it settled on the SS109 bullet, a 62-grain bullet consisting of a lead core with a steel penetrator tip, all contained in a gilding-metal jacket. The military designated this loading as the M855 load and further identified it with a green tip. As with previous military loads, the M855 became very popular with target shooters using the AR-15 rifle and its variants.

BATFE deemed itself the judge of what is sporting, and one of the no-nos is whether a particular load can be fired from a handgun and still penetrate standard police body armor. In 1986 BATFE deemed the M855 load legit because at the time no handgun was chambered in .233 Remington (the civilian nomenclature for the 5.56 x 45 NATO cartridge).

Fast forward to last year when some companies began manufacturing an AR-15-style handgun. To explain fully would take up too much time and space here, but suffice it to say that wannabe commandos are buying these handguns at quite a rate.

It is no secret that Obama despises gun ownership. We have seen a number of attempts to bring back the so-called “assault weapons” ban—virtually all of which have failed. The general public, once happily ignorant regarding all things gunny, has become more educated and has embraced the notion of self-defense, all to the major disappointment of the Left. The people have said “No!” The Congress has said “No!” to further Second Amendment restrictions, leaving the profoundly narcissistic and self-absorbed President throwing a temper tantrum after everyone leaves the White House for the day. You could say that Barack Obama has some deep-seated issues with rejection.

Nonetheless, Obama has not been held accountable to his other efforts to ignore The Constitution, and as he is so proud to point out, “I have a pen and a cell phone”—thus the attempt to deem M855 ammunition illegal. BATFE announced that it would set forth banning this load in mid-February, thus creating a firestorm of opposition by gun owners nationwide. Congress jumped into the fray and with a clear majority in the House of Representatives said the proposed ban was illegal and unconstitutional. The BATFE has been taking in public responses to the proposed ban, and some 80,000 comments deriding the proposed ban have already been posted. The comment period ends this Monday, March 16, but because of the tremendous outcry of the people, BATFE has backed down…for now.

You can take it to the bank, however, that BATFE—the same bunch who gave us Waco, Ruby Ridge and Fast and Furious—along with our vindictive president will continue to poke, prod, punch and attempt to run roughshod over our Second Amendment rights, along with the rest of that pesky Constitution that seems to get in the way of his agenda to transform the United States.

Dave Campbell
Dave Campbell began his hunting career with a spear off the southern California coast in the late 1960s. It did not take long for him to graduate to the gun on land. Campbell is the founding editor in chief of the NRA’s tremendously successful Shooting Illustrated magazine. In 2006 he also edited the iconic book of terminal ballistics, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter—A Definitive Study. He returned to his beloved Wyoming in 2007 as a freelance writer, though he usually refers to himself now as a “recovering editor.”

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