Reader Aaron D. writes:
Was the SIG Brace worth losing M855/SS109 ammunition to the civilian market? Some might immediately jump and say that I am turning my back on the gun community but I implore you to continue reading. As a strong advocate of the 2nd Amendment and our right to keep and bear arms, I think this is a discussion worth having . . .
SIG made a calculated legal and business decision to acquire the rights to what we now know as the SIG Brace and essentially poked the ATF in the eye with its release and legal justification. As consumers, we ate up the brace and the mockery it made of the ATF and the Gun Control Act if fired from a position other than its “primary intended purpose”.
The M855 reclassification feels arbitrary and capricious, but the enemy always gets a vote. The proliferation of these devices and relative ease with which one could bypass a $200 tax stamp and registration has poked the bear. The BATFE is playing its own technicality game with this reclassification, most likely out of spite.
If you read their document, they are not asking for input on the classification of M855, the decision has already been made. What they are asking is how should they execute its removal from the civilian market.
We can endlessly debate the ATF’s legitimacy, mission, etc., but at the end of the day we are a country of laws, not of justice. The “sporting clause” was a back end handshake type deal, which holds little justification.
The American public isn’t going to be sympathetic when a cop is killed with an AR pistol equipped with a SIG Brace and the media reports that the suspect used armor piercing ammunition. In a 30-second news clip, the argument that M193, Wolf 55gr and pretty much every .223/5.56 bullet can penetrate Level II armor will fall on deaf ears. The “penetrator” round was designed to pierce soviet helmets. The BATFE clearly says it doesn’t matter what most consumers use it for, they care how the police perceive the round and who may use it.
It’s hard to feel as if we were not all duped just a little in the name of corporate profits and now it cost us a bit of our civil liberties. At the end of the day SIG SAUER, like all corporations, is responsible to its shareholders.
This is one battle in a long war; maybe a step back is in order to review the damage and assess future efforts. My hope is the legal brain trust that petitioned for the SIG Brace is willing to do the same for M855, but I am skeptical.