ATF withdraws proposal to ban M855 ammunition

After outcry from across the nation the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms has backed away from their proposal to ban certain types of ammunition.

Valley News Live first told you about the proposed ban several days ago. The ATF claimed the ammo is a greater threat to police because it can be considered armored piercing.

The ATF released a 17-page proposal last month spelling out the reasoning behind this decision and now many sportsmen are making their voices heard on the controversial move. The M855 ball ammunition is a version of the .223 caliber or 5.56 mm rifle bullet and it’s popular for AR-type guns.

A large portion of this debate is the Gun Control Act of 1968 which spells out what an “armor piercing” bullet is and is not based on what it’s made from, among them steel, iron, brass, bronze or uranium. The M855 ball has a lead core with a steel tip and therefore does not fit the definition under the law. Secondly, the Act states ammo made for “sporting purposes” is exempt from the ban. After talking with several gun experts around the area, most ammunition used for deer and other big-game hunting, regardless of it being fired from a rifle or a handgun, will pierce the ceramic plate style body armor used by police.

North Dakota congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND) opposed the ban and issued the following statement about today's move, “I am thankful the ATF listened to myself and hundreds of fellow Members of Congress as well as millions of Americans who spoke up in opposition to this ammunition ban. As a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, I will remain vigilant and monitor the actions of the ATF in case they attempt similar efforts in the future.”