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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 . . .

From the Washington Examiner:

“Any ammunition is of concern to police in the wrong hands, but this specific round has historically not posed a law enforcement problem,” said James Pasco, executive director of the Washington office of the Fraternal Order of Police, the world’s largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 325,000 members.

He told Secrets that the round used mostly for target practice “is not typically used against law enforcement.”

While he said that he is “not finding fault” with the surprise move last month by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to classify the round as “armor piercing” and then ban it, Pasco added, “While this round will penetrate soft body armor, it has not historically posed a threat to law enforcement.”

So in one fell swoop, the White House’s basis for the M855 ban has evaporated.

The real question is whether this will have any real impact. The Obama administration has shown a propensity for soldiering on in the face of public and legislative opposition in order to accomplish its goals. As much as it pains me to say it, the Republican Congress might be the only thing capable of preventing the impending M855 ban. If they can get their act together.

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    • For those wondering what the general law enforcement community feels about this, you can see our comments under the story here: The story itself is just the AP report, but the comments speak for themselves, as well as what most of us think of the current administration. None of my coworkers from my former agency that I’ve spoken with agree with this ban. All it has done is ticked everyone off!

      • And it will be the police that are ordered to enforce this unconstitutional law. And the police will be the fist one’s to die trying it. I am NOT calling for armed resistance. Just calling as I personally see it.

        • The law doesn’t ban possession, just manufacturers selling and importing to the civilian market. It also doesn’t ban trade between owners or sales from retailers. I’m not saying that any of this is good, but it doesn’t require confiscation. Even if it did, for a lot of LE, it would be as enforced as CO’s new 15-round magazine limitation. LE here sure didn’t support it . . . (My last sentence obviously applies to the more conservative states. Obviously, there are exceptions [think Boston Marathon Bombing], but here in the West [not coast] and a lot of the midwest [except for the People’s Republic of Chicago], you have a lot of constitutionalist LE.)

        • @Jeff,
          No the law doesn’t,,, yet. Here in Washington State where I live, there will be a big problem with this.

        • The ATF will be the ones enforcing this. They license (and presumably inspect) manufacturers, importers, and retailers of ammo.

      • Police One comments are now locked. general public cant read them (recent change)

        • Sorry, didn’t realize that. I have my browser set to automatically log in. Thanks for the update!

  1. See, the way I know that the Obamassiah’s administration is trying to blow sunshine up my a$$ is I listen to what they say – then I see if there’s a position that’s 180-degrees opposed – that opposing position has invariably been the real truth of the matter. Thing is, the subject really doesn’t matter in the least – if you take the 180-degree opposing position to ANYTHING that comes out of the Obammassiah’s mouth, you’ve picked the factual side.

  2. I’m still confused why more people are not calling out the fact that M855 does not meet the statutory definition of “armor piercing” ammo. (It’s not made entirely of the listed materials, nor does the jacket make up 25% of the bullet weight.) It makes the “sporting purpose” exception a completely moot point.

    • This is precisely the main point. The truth is that the ATF simply does not have the statutory authority to ban this particular round.

    • So far I have argued facts like this. But after awhile that gets old. If you read the entire document you can’t help but come to the conclusion that it is all a bunch of whatever that was made up specifically to meet their agenda. Facts do not matter to them in their arguments.

    • The editor over at GunsAmerica blog says you are wrong and are hurting the cause by arguing such false facts. He argues that the front half of the core is made entirely of steel, and therefore it meets the definition of an AP round. Just sayin.’ Not saying I agree.

      • PART of the core (And actually it’s more of a tip) is made entirely of steel.

        (i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium

        The core is not made entirely of steel. A COMPONENT of the round is made of steel. It is not an entire core, it is at most a partial core.

        ATF can’t just say that M855 has two cores, one made entirely of lead and one made entirely of steel.

  3. I’m afraid this will be a little bit like calling for the “assault weapons” ban even though the Department of Justice admits that those firearms are almost never used in crime. Whether or not the ammunition is used against law enforcement, the fact that it maybe, possibly, potentially, theoretically, could be a risk will be enough for them to ram it through as a foot in the door leading to broader attempts to control and restrict ammunition access to law abiding citizens.

    Have you ever noticed that when law enforcement supports one of their ideas, it is because they are the front line experts on crime prevention, but if law-enforcement opposes one of their ideas, it is all because of political pandering.

  4. the Republican Congress might be the only thing capable of preventing the impending M855 ban. If they can get their act together

    Get real.

    Congress can’t stop this if the administration is bound and determined to ram it through. Defund the ATF? Not when faced with a Presidential veto, which would certainly happen. Pass a law? Same veto. And the Republicans have 54 members in the Senate, not 67, so they don’t have a veto-proof majority. Plus, they probably don’t even have enough votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. They would need 60, and they have only 54.

    Don’t try to lay this off on the Republicans. This is all on Obama. You know, that guy who wasn’t coming after our guns? Yeah, that guy.

    • It’s not the republican’s fault they can’t fight back against tyranny.

      Of course we could sue, although we will have to wait a few years for the case to go through.

      • The SAF has already announced its intention to sue if the ban goes through. I think that a case will have a reasonable chance of success.

    • Ralph calls it again. This ban is a product of the Obama administration, and a number of people who read TTAG were dumb enough to vote for him. Twice, even.

      Well TTAG, Obama *is* going after your guns. Since he failed to put forth AWB 2.0, he’ll probably be banning a huge portion of your ammo instead. And if we had a more significant Republican majority, this ban would be a non-starter.

      The Republicans in congress can’t fix this problem. Let’s hope those who read these pages realize that blaming Republcans, at least in this case, is an exercise in futility.

      • A Rep from TX explained on Cam’s show that all they need is to alter ONE sentence in the 1986 law so that a round must be PRIMARILY intended for use in handguns and STILL has to be made of a dense hard metal like tungsten or beryllium .

    • And equally important, Mitch McConnell doesn’t have the stones and cryin’ John Boehner is a rhino, in my opinion.

    • Not that the Republicans will do it but it is easy to defund an agency of the government in the next fiscal year. If they don’t have a budget or CR they shut down.

      • Tell that to the DHS. The 2014 elections changed nothing. As long as Boehner and Mitch are in control we are slaves to Obama’s pen and phone.

      • Congress won’t shut down the ATF. They may redistribute its responsibilities to other agencies (IRS, FBI) but that might be worse than better.
        What we need Congress to do is clean-out the upper ranks of the ATF’s management. Do a serious investigation of ATF and then fire everyone who has had his hand in the cookie-jar.
        Once a new senior management is in place and recognize the risk of flaunting the law then the lower level managers will fall in line.
        Will Congress actually do anything to impose the rule of law on the ATF? Having done nothing to Holder (apart from charging him with contempt) I have my doubts.

      • I agree with that analysis. It brings to the fore a sad fact: The Republican majority is, in both houses, choosing to “cave in” on serious election issues such as the exec-order immigration bit….claiming that a simple failure to fund would bring the GOP too much grief. I actually consider this claim false. What I do see in the claim is an excuse. If my state GOP is typical, the influential-with-money crowd actually wants Obama’s immgration actions (for the money, the cheap labor and wage pressure) while most GOP voters do not want O’s immigration with its costs. Result? So far the moneyed leadership are getting their way while pretending it isn’t what they want. We will see the same pattern in regard to firearms, and obamacare. Mainstream Republicans do not want Obamacare. However, the corporate money is dying to see Obamacare grow, so that they can dump the corporation’s retirees (and slowly all workers) off the shareholder’s back and onto the general tax revenue stack. We live in a dangerous time, for there are many issues on which the largest corporations and the most populist leftward politicians are finding deals that give each something very big, while screwing only the middle. The average voter can’t even follow the pattern, and that’s the frightening part.

    • I couldn’t have said it better. Congressional Republicans are powerless with their current numbers. This is headed to Court.

  5. The White House’s basis for the ban hasn’t evaporated, but the facade of a reason for doing so is.

    • Exactly. Their ‘stated’ reason may have evaporated and the ‘technical’ reason may prove to be bogus, but their ‘real’ reason remains the same. Baby steps and slippery slopes towards their goal of citizen disarmament.

  6. It sickening to see Obama plainly violate his oath of office to protect and defend the constitution of the United States. I honestly see him as an enemy of the state.

  7. I’m actually shocked that the FOP stated what they did. They usually lean left.

    • I think it varies from state to state. Ours out here is kind of middle ground but usually stays silent on these issues. The only reason I joined was the attorney protections. What’s your’s like out there?

      • Pretty non existent. I always viewed them as “east of the Mississippi” kind of org.
        Lots of self funded “associations” And unions here.

  8. Great to hear the FO of Police speak out, but somehow… I don’t think the ATF gives an eff. It’s going to take an act of Congress to stop them.

  9. First, thanks to the FOP and PoliceOne for standing for the rights of the citizens.

    Our armed forces and LEOs will be standing on the front line if tyranny comes to confront The People. Will we “have their six” or will the politicians cover it for them? I will pray that they have thought long and hard about their oath to the Constitution and their loyalty to their chain of command.

    We want to “support our local sheriff”. That’s why this is an elected position. We would like to support our municipal cop on our beat. Whether we are there for them may depend on whether they are here for us in the 2A debate.

    The PoliceOne survey is extremely important. We ought to draw much more attention to it. Legislators who want to support the 2A should be able to stand on those survey results. We need more more LEO voices standing up and debunking the Moms, supporting Shall-Issue.

    We also need LEOs to clean their ranks of the few bad apples that undermine our confidence in the institution of local law enforcement.

  10. Then why did the FOP go along with the 5.7 AP ammo ban? Whichever way the wind blows, eh?

  11. Speaking as ex-law enforcement (30 years ago) I’m not real confident about the police brass ever helping us out, period. Rank-and-file, maybe.

    But this:

    “It’s not the republican’s fault they can’t fight back against tyranny.”

    Huh? It’s not even any kind of question; the Repubs roll over for the Dems every chance they get; they prove with each year it’s all just one big Party. I gave up on those clowns nearly twenty years ago and registered Independent. Now I don’t even vote in national or state elections, because it’s such an obvious charade; all we do when we vote is validate their continued depredations while they laugh at us.

    The only members of Congress that I can recall who honestly resisted tyranny in my half-century of following political events in this country were Ron Paul and the late Sam Ervin, that’s it.

    • Every police brass from any major department have ever heard speak is against the thought of Americans owning “military grade” weapons” or “assault weapons” or carrying guns in public. The only ones they think should have guns are the men (and women) in blue.

  12. This is just “testing the waters” for Obama and Holder. After the comment period ends, it’s up to Holder to sign-off on the M855 BAN, which he can do without paying any attention to the comments from whoever or however many. They (Obama and Company) want to see if they can pull this off, and if they do, don’t be surprised if next-up you hear that they “just realized” other types of Ammunition for .223 REM/5.56 NATO family can “also penetrate body armor”, so next we are banning that, too.
    Obama knows the Republicans and other “not-Democrats” cannot override his VETO, so he will push the limits as far as he can. Personally, I think he’s daring the Republicans to try to Impeach him for something in the belief it will rally his flagging support among Democrats. He is also flinging feces at anyone and everyone who has opposed him because he cannot accept his losses, or that anyone would dare not like his every idea. He knows he is now being deemed the worst President in U.S. history and isn’t Man enough to accept the responsibility for his failure. He’s a pathetic petty tyrant wannabe and we are being forced to witness/endure his thrashing about in the final days of his self-deluded “reign”. Heaven help us….

  13. HAHAHA…you still fall for the Republicans vs. Democrats paradigm.

    Both parties are the same and the Republicans won’t do anything because their role is to play the “false” opposition.

    Wake up, the real owners of this country don’t want you to have guns. So you either need to do something about it, or just give up your guns.

    No one will come in riding on a white horse to save you…you are on your own and you can only save yourself.

    • So, the question in my mind is: How do we explain to the Republicans that the game is up? We are tired of their paying lip service to the 2A and always falling 1 or 2 votes shy of passing any legislation that restores any of our rights?
      The major issue today is passing National Reciprocity (not really stopping UBC). It is easy to stop legislation; we could even get Harry Reid to do that for us. What we don’t seem to have is a Republican party in control of both chambers that will do something POSITIVE for the country least of all, PotG.
      Do we have to tell the Republicans that we will support Blue Dog Democrats if that’s what it takes to light a fire under them?

        • Point is well taken; then, we tell the Republicans that we will vote for their Democrat opponent no matter how liberal he is. A more liberal Democrat is no worse than a RINO.

  14. Love the picture; “Nicer policecars, faster response times, and most importantly, better-looking officers”

    Note to TTAG: while the comments section is finally properly functional without disabling half the content, your syphilitic ads nearly KO’ed my computer. Even the most cankerous of low-rent news sites packed with ad-garbage aren’t half as bad as what (I assume) Taboola is doing to your readership.


    • We very rarely had such great-looking female officers during my time in “law enforcement” during the late 70s and early 80s; far from it, sad to say.

      As for the ads here, they don’t necessarily K’O this machine but they make responding very jerky and slow, with lotsa buzzing and clicking going on in the lower corners of the screen as they load all kinds of damn files. And this machine is Winblows 8.1 running on 16GB of RAM with a pretty decent net connection. It’s somewhat annoying, though I realize the revenue is the thing.

      • 7 yo notebook, 2Ghz dual core, 3GB RAM, SSD, Win8 64, Chrome w/adblock plus and a ton of other tabs open and apps in the background…firefox, excel, outlook, sophos…etc: TTAG pages load fine with no ads. The site is nearly unusable on iPad 3 w/safari.

        • Oh, crap; and me an IT drone, too; I’m on the site with SeaMonkey and forgot to plug in an ad blocker. My bad.

          Thanks for the reminder. Selinity kicking in again.

  15. The reports Rep. Sensenbrenner , ( WI ) has introduced legislation to ABOLISH
    the problem agency citing , ” Fast & Furious ” and other scandals.
    — It is time for a good old fashioned ‘ Pile On ‘ — BAN the ATF.

  16. The F.O.P. guy still said he didn’t have a problem with “the move by the ATF” so it isn’t like the Fraternal Order of Police suddenly went pro 2A. At least the guy was honest.

  17. As a tech and gun geek, this has been a really bad week with me and the White House…Net Neutrality and this stuff, oh and the constant stream of NSA crap that nobody seems concerned about anymore that just keeps getting worse…that’s always a good capper…for the last 2 1/2 years…every few weeks. Ugh, I need a Tums and a Xanax.

  18. “Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms” should be a convenience store, not an agency!

    Anyway, the FOP is correct that M855 is not a problem. let’s see if that + congress’s letter + comments from the public mean a damn thing or not.

  19. Well… duh.

    Next up, Eric Holder launches investigation of the Fraternal Order of Police for violating his civil rights.

  20. While not totally related, we are one democrat controlled congress and presidency away from being royally screwed as gun owers. Lets hope it doesn’t happen any time soon.

  21. From the picture – Apparently, EVERYONE removes the “grab guard” from those Safariland holsters. It doesn’t add a lot in terms of retention and is annoying as heck on the draw, I pulled it off mine after the first time I took the holster to the range. Other than that – highly recommend. I had a SERPA and I hated it.

  22. None of those banned armor piercing handgun ammo, or the 7n6 5.45 ammo, have ever been a problem for leos, so there is no need to ban any handgun ammo made from brass or steel or anything else. This is all just part of the liberals plan to disarm civilians. Abolish the batf!

  23. “So in one fell swoop, the White House’s basis for the M855 ban has evaporated.”

    Absolutely wrong, the WH basis for this or any other ban involving firearms has nothing to do with either police or safety.

    • …or children.

      Just as their War on Some Drugs.

      And just as the wars around the globe for peace, and freedom, and liberty and democracy here at home.

      This long-standing regime operates on two main tactics: the slippery slope, and the short attention span of the Murkan peeples. Today: civil unions. Then gay marriage. Then man-boy love. Then incest. After that, bestiality and necrophilia. In the mainstream Christian churches: first women clergy. Then women bishops. Then lesbian bishops. Gay bishops. Etc.

      Immigration: let peeps in with useful talents, education and skillz. Then open up the southern borders and coasts to more millions. Then tens of millions. After which hordes, among them children with communicable diseases long extinct here and in Europe, and hadji sleeper cells; the authorities don’t know and admit they don’t have the manpower to check on it all. But let it rip anyway.

      After a while, all these innovations and novelties and ‘rectifying past injustices and discrimination, etc., etc.’ become, for the United States of Amnesia, the New Normal.

      Just so with guns. Restrict this, ban that, incrementally, and away we go.

  24. Well, this is new, or have I missed it in the past:

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

  25. Ugh I hate unions, they should be outlawed especially those public sector leeches.

    As others noted the FoP is still anti-gun and would love to see our “assault weapons” banned and confiscated , nothing to see here

  26. cops arent paranoid…POLITICIANS are.
    And if they werent crooks they wouldnt need to be

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