When I bought my first silencer, it took over seven months from the day I sent the forms in to the ATF until my tax stamp came back. It took so long, in fact, that I had moved to Texas in the intervening months and flew back to Virginia to pick it up. That was at the peak of the ATF’s backlog, when waiting a year for a stamp was commonplace. Needless to say, while a $200 tax for something that is otherwise completely legal to own is enough of a hurdle. But the inordinate wait time was probably the biggest barrier to entry for most people who want to buy a can. These days, though, the excuses are dwindling: wait times for a Form 4 are officially under 90 days. And dropping . . .
News is coming in that B. Todd Jones is stepping down from his position as the Director of the ATF. Jones has been in the job since 2011 when he took over in the aftermath of the Fast and Furious debacle. Among his shining achievements was an attempt to give local sherriffs the ability to ban legal (if NFA regulated) firearms in their jurisdictions, as well as proposing a ban on some of the most popular ammunition in the United States. Rumor has it . . .
In the video above, the White House spokesmodel Josh Earnest laid the “blame” for the ATF’s climb-down on the M855 “Green Tip” ammo ban on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (And Really Big Fires). What was that about failure being an orphan? Meanwhile, over on Capitol Hill, ATF jefe B. Todd Jones told a congressional committee that the decision to shelve the M855 ban was part of an overall review of the whole “armor piercing” ammo situation, which will continue . . .
“Gun control groups are distancing themselves from a failed attempt by the Obama administration to ban certain types of armor-piercing ammunition commonly used in AR-15 hunting rifles,” thehill.com reports, almost getting it right. If you recall, the NRA’s victory lap press release fingered Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America jefe Michael Bloomberg for the M855 ban. Well, kinda. The Bloombergian bit said . . .
The NRA just released the following statement in response to the news that the ATF has dropped their proposed M855 ammo ban:
NRA Forces Obama to Waive White Flag on Proposed Ammo Ban … For Now
Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association (NRA) was instrumental in stalling the Obama Administration’s initial attempt to ban commonly used ammunition for the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15. The announcement that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) will suspend its proposed framework to ban M855 ammunition validates the NRA’s assertion that this effort was nothing more than a political maneuver to bypass Congress and impose gun control on the American people . . .
Against all odds, the ATF has announced that they’re pulling the proposed ban on 5.56 M855 green tip ammunition. After a barrage of comments from the public as well as bipartisan criticism from Congress, our friends at the bureau issued a press release announcing that, “ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework.” Make the jump for their full statement . . .
The New York Times is quite possibly the least gun friendly publication in the United States. They’ve previously shown an utter contempt and disregard for fact checking and proper use of statistics when their “conclusions” paint gun owners and gun ownership in a bad light, and today’s editorial is no different. Titled “Protect the Police From Armor-Piercing Bullets,” the article is a re-hash of all the major Obama administration talking points in an effort to portray M855 as a menace to society that needs to be stopped. Shockingly, however, the Times fails to use any actual logic, statistics, or facts to make their case. Instead they build their case for a ban solely on the emotional appeal of loaded phrases to trick their readers into falling in line with their agenda. Let’s take this apart piece by piece.
Part of the experience of buying a silencer used to be the time you’d spend on hold with the ATF’s NFA branch to check on the status of your pending permission slip. You would sheepishly ask if your stamp had been issued yet, and if the stars were sufficiently aligned just right and you had led a good and virtuous life, then the answer you hoped for would come down the line that your stamp would arrive within weeks. Now it appears that with the increasing workload on the NFA branch and generally decreasing wait times, the NFA branch phone line has been shut down — for good . . .
When our friends at the ATF announced their intention to ban green tip M855 5.56 ammunition last month, lots of knowledgeable people figured that the fix was in. That the ban was a fait accompli and despite the window dressing of a 30-day public comment period, the administration had already made up its mind to end civilian availability of the “armor piercing” rounds. Now, Town Hall’s Katie Pavlich is reporting that those suspicions were well founded . . .
The party line from the White House is that 5.56 M855 ammunition is unusually dangerous, and in order to keep our law enforcement officers safe, it to be banned from civilian use in the United States. We’ve already looked into those claims in our “The Truth About M855” article, but facts and logic never be obstacles to the Obama administration when it comes to proposing new limits on the right to keep and bear arms. There is one thing that may help sink the ban, though. The Fraternal Order of Police, the lobbying organization specifically chartered to act as “the voice of our nation’s law enforcement,” says that the White House is, well, full of crap. M855 isn’t specifically dangerous, and the ban is unnecessary . . .
The AR-15 buffer tube is the universal attachment point for aftermarket stocks. Just about everyone makes an AR-15 compatible shoulder stock, and even newer piston-driven guns that don’t need a buffer are being designed with an adapter to allow the use of existing stocks. For those with firearms like AK-47 pistols, adapters are available to allow you to mount an AR-15 buffer tube so you can then add an AR-15 stock or brace to your gun if you want. According to a new letter from the ATF, though, it appears that bolting a buffer tube to your AK-47 pistol might now be considered “manufacturing” a short-barreled rifle, and therefore illegal without a tax stamp . . .
“We are looking at additional ways to protect our brave men and women in law enforcement, and believe that this process is valuable for that reason alone.” That’s today’s pronouncement from the contradictorily named Josh Earnest, the White House Press Secretary, when he was asked about the ATF’s proposed ban of M855 5.56/.223 ammunition. You don’t want cops to die, do you? The only thing more egregious — or predictable — he was able to muster . . .