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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 . . .

She’s posted a copy of the ATF’s most recent regulatory guide at the link above that omits the previous armor piercing exemption given to M855. The latest guide was published in January and, as she points out, it takes months to compile. Which means that this has been a done deal for quite some time.

So it seems that no amount of cynicism, no level of paranoia about the anti-gun intentions of the Obama administration and its regulatory apparatus is beyond the pale. Any move to reduce, inhibit or discourage Americans from exercising their Second Amendment rights will be made, particularly if it can be done without a vote in Congress. The only question now is, what’s up their sleeve next?


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  1. I figured it would fall to the NRA and other groups to stop this. Guess I need to make a donation.

      • SAF and NRA are two sides of the same coin. They just have different areas that they are best at.

        SAF is excellent at lawsuits, plain and simple. They’ve been are the forefront of most of the recent cases. The NRA helps out (particularly when it comes to the grunt work lawsuits), but SAF typically is the one that gets home runs.

        OTOH NRA-ILA is excellent at passing, or repealing laws at the federal and state levels. While SAF has shown itself to not be that politically savvy.

        And for anyone that claims that the NRA loves these, yes they certainly do use them to gain donations. But the NRA is much more than political lobbying, and would survive just fine if the second amendment wasn’t a huge political issue. In fact they weren’t actively involved in politics until the 1970s when the membership forced the board to turn the NRA into politics.

        • When it comes to a certain president who doesn’t care about the law, lawsuits are the only manner to resolve the bad situations he keeps creating.

      • Don’t donate to the SAF, they’re pushing to ban private sales of guns and enact universal registration. I used to support the SAF and tell others to as well, but Alan Gottlieb has gone full retard.

        • Gottlieb did make a huge misstep in supporting Manchin-Toomey for his own paranoid reasons, but make no mistake that the SAF is still the tip of the spear in pro-2A litigation that is actually making a difference.

        • Except it wasn’t just supporting Manchin-Toomey. Many like myself were wary of him after that, but we gave him a second chance. What did he do? He went campaigning for the same shit when there was no push for gun control. Sorry, but a gun rights group cannot be trusted when their owner / leader is actively campaigning for gun control.

    • The NRA profits off of this, they love when the Feds push stuff like the M855 baloney, means lots of donations. If 2A is an inalienable Right guaranteed to us by our forefathers, how is it that organizations like the NRA even exist and how is it than any tyrant in office can actually retain a seat in politics? Where are “the people”, are they sheep? Of course they are; sided by partisan rhetoric, captivated by materialistic trash, and the corporate oligarchy effectively maintains the status quo with this delusion of freedom & sovereignty.

      It is a sham and a racket!

      Now to heat up my frozen burrito for lunch.

      • Well if that is the case what is your solution? Do you have someone better than the NRA ? Cry about the NRA all you want but who else is going to do something for the 2 amendment and gun owners

      • Well, then the Check I am writing to NRA is going to be welcome! And the check I am going to write to SAF should be welcome too.

  2. The way I read it, with no provision for existing possession, those who currently possess “green tips”, are now violating the law. Fun and games.

    • aww, its not so bad…. just give your local atf office a call, I am sure they would be happy to storm your house, shoot your dog and take you sooper scary boolits away for free.

    • They can come get mine, but after I’m done “handing over” the bullets, someone will have to pick the cases up off the ground 😉

    • I have only 5,000 or so rounds of m855. The extra weight at 62 grain work far nicer with my ARs. Locked up safe & sound. I suppose I need to use my regular 55 grain rounds at the firing range and save the m855 rounds for special occasions. I am so disgusted with this administration at the fed level, much less in NY state. How do these bozos get voted in anyway? We are losing our nation right below our very noses. I fear for my grandchildren.

  3. Let the lawsuits begin – hopefully in two separate and sympathetic federal court districts.

  4. Or GOA.

    Or Ban the ATF, have you read their newsletters?

    It’s superfluous duplication mixed with a little self aggrandized 007.

    You strike at the Empire, The Empire Strikes Back, so you find Yoda, learn the ways of the Force, kiss your sister, kill your father and a crap load of clones, and you finally win. Never Ever Ever Ever give up. Call your representatives and tell them to stop funding the ATF.

    • This ^. Continue to hammer your Representatives. Haul the thugs before Congress. Chain them / de-fund them / eliminate the entire redundant department. Also call for the removal , Vacating , of Speaker John ( rino ) Boehner. These regulations HAVE NO POWER or FORCE OF LAW.

    • Dream on. Anyone with the power to influence the ATF has been bought and paid for a long time ago.

  5. The regs identify the ammo as having a green coated tip. Wonder how many minutes in the case tumbler it’ll take to polish that off?

    • Just use any 62 grain bullet when you reload. The SS109 has a lead core just like any other bullet so it will not make any difference. The things don’t even remotely meet the definition of “armor piercing”. These idiots are unbelievable but what is even worse is that our elected officials by and large say nothing. Obama and his ilk are the greatest danger this country faces.

  6. The most transparent administration — ever! My a$$

    This is what they did with Obamacare
    This is what they did with Net Neutrality
    This is what they are doing with negotiations with Iran

    We will let you know once we have decided it is a done deal.

    Welcome to progressive politicos — the consent of governed shall not apply.

    • He, under HRC, even gave away two Alaskan Islands to the Russkies, and [wait for it] they didn’t even ask for them.

      As I understand it they were the farther of a small chain of islands in the strait. My guess is that, without them we have to do all our China/Russia/Iranian sub-hunting from further east, and they can move a little better undetected, but hey I’m a conspiritualist.

    • And remember; the guy that said ,”you can keep your guns”, also said ,”you can keep your doctor…”

      • Needs a t-shirt that reads “Je suis, , ,working for the other side”

        In March of 2007 he gave a mainstream media interview whose broadcast was mated to newscast where they were JUST announcing “the surge” strategy in Iraq.

        Then senator OBama said that 1) The surge will not work; 2) The surge cannot work; 3) The surge “was not working”. And it was only just announced THAT DAY, and had not even taken any noticeable effect yet. (except that the announcement later quickly and noticeably put the fear of GOD into the Iraqi locals).

        • But at least he became president, because there’s no way he’d be able to get those heavy hitters out of GITMO in time for them to overthrow Yemen and still be home by Independence Day.

  7. New kit to turn your now illegal SS109/XM855 green tip ammo into ATF compliant ammo:
    One 20 rd box labeled XM193 and a brillo pad………..$2.00 bucks + shipping

  8. They apparently banned a .30-06 cartridge too, and that’s gone completely under the radar.

      • It says:

        U.S. .30-06 M2AP, identified by a black coating on the projectile tip.

        Below the exemption for M855

      • In addition, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 added to the definition of armor piercing ammunition the following:

        “… a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.”

        The following articles are exempted from the definition of armor piercing ammunition. 5.56 mm (.223) SS 109 and M855 Ammunition, identified by a green coating on the projectile tip. U.S. .30-06 M2AP, identified by a black coating on the projectile tip.

        Not sure why you need an exemption for a round that doesn’t meet the definition in the first place. My guess is its some kind of Orwellian revisionism in order to claim they are simple removing the exemption…which is a false narrative.

        • Well, what sounds easier: going home to home, kicking down the door, and searching the house top to bottom for firearms, or slowly fazing out the availability of ammunition through bureaucratic B.S.? (Again; the guy that said you can keep your guns also said you can keep your doctor.)

        • 30-06 M2AP. Do we understand what the “AP” portion of that is? There is no “AP” attached to any 5.56 ammo, because there is no armor piercing ammo for that puny cartridge. 855 is designated “SC”, since it has a steel core, but there is nobody that would call it armor piercing. If you ever saw a demo of 7.62 NATO AP ammo, you would know nothing like that is possible with 5.56. I saw a film decades ago of an M14 firing full auto into 2 X 2″ steel plates hanging from a jig, about 2-3 inches apart, cut through both plates slicker’n snot. It was meant to impress, and it sure impressed me!

    • Removal of an exemption does not equal a ban, if the round does not expressly meet the legal definition of armor-piercing.

      • .30-06 and virtually all hunting rifle rounds have been chambered for single shot pistols like the Magnum Research Lone Eagles and Thompson Centerfire pistols, so every popular round is on the table. That .30-06 round that was listed as exempt before fits all the same criteria they’re trying to use to ban M855.

  9. How is this surprising? Of course they push this through, heck, look at the 7.62×39 ban. Olympic Arms didn’t even have their pistol readily available for sale, it was only on display at SHOT in ’93 (?) and they were used to justify that ban. All the ATF needed was a scapegoat and BAM! bobs your uncle.

    • While the ommission in the 2014 manual is clear evidence that this Maladministration has every intention of revoking the M855’s exemption, my read is that the manual itself does that actually effect that revocation. It’s a guidebook for FFL holders (I got one with my FFL 003 package), but it is not the official statement of the law. Actually, the relevant exemption is not itself a per se regulation – it’s an announced policy made by the ATF Director pursuant to his power under CFR §478.148. Essentially there’s a list which is made up of all those ammo types which have been so excluded, but it’s not an actual regulation. The manual that Katie reviewed is essentially a compendium of Laws, Regs and policy pronouncements made pursuant to those Laws and Regs. Where the manual is in conflict with an official pronouncement of the ATF – like the one made on Feb 13, 2015 – the official pronouncement ought to control. Of course, the manual is damned good evidence that the Maladministration has zero intention of reconsidering its policy change, and the comments period is just for show.

      the 2014 Manual:

      Federal Regs:

      §478.148 Armor piercing ammunition intended for sporting or industrial purposes.

      The Director may exempt certain armor piercing ammunition from the requirements of this part. A person who desires to obtain an exemption under this section for any such ammunition which is primarily intended for sporting purposes or intended for industrial purposes, including charges used in oil and gas well perforating devices, shall submit a written request to the Director. Each request shall be executed under the penalties of perjury and contain a complete and accurate description of the ammunition, the name and address of the manufacturer or importer, the purpose of and use for which it is designed and intended, and any photographs, diagrams, or drawings as may be necessary to enable the Director to make a determination. The Director may require that a sample of the ammunition be submitted for examination and evaluation.

  10. “omits the previous exemption for M855”
    What?!?! M855 doesn’t need an exemption! It is not “entirely constructed” of steel…..

    Their carefully crafted plan is clear now. The first step in the banning of M855 was accomplished a while back when the unnecessary exemption was written into the regulations. Now that the exemption is being removed, the Gov’t can claim that the exemption was necessary for M855 to be legal and thus, without it, M855 is now illegal.

  11. Everybody figured it would turn out like this….BTW, his imperial, exalted Golf Pants was in my neck of the woods today, telling his usual outrageous lies about how easy it is to buy guns (saying they are easier to buy than vegetables or books)…I don’t think he has any intention of stopping at the M855 ban.

    • Yup, every time I go to the local Harpe’s, I have to wait half an hour while I fill out a form to buy a cabbage. They really should close the Farmer’s Market loophole, which allows transfer of vegetables between private citizens without a background check. /sarc/

  12. I highly doubt that it is legally binding. This is just a handbook to make it easier to people in the industry to see sections of the regulations that are of interest to them.

    Sections that they leave out doesn’t make violating them any less illegal.

    OTOH it shows that this is hardly an impromptu change. They knew that they were going to attack this regulation, and left it out on purpose.

  13. Wait a moment… when you click the source, it has a picture of the old guidebook page with the exemption highlighted, but if you look at the text above it, the last thing before it is right where the picture showing the 2015 guidebook and the supposed “missing” text ends.

    Her image proof doesn’t prove anything in its incomplete state.

    • Poor formatting by, but if you click the image, it takes you to the .pdf of the whoe 2014 manual. Once there, try searching “855”.

  14. Any aspirant to the presidency need only promise to dissolve the ATF to get elected by a landslide.

  15. This has been a done deal since 2012 when they first started talking to manufacturers and industry. When I did a google search to find info on this from 2012, something weird came up. The search results included the current ATF proposal. Now I am not sure how google determines the date, but google thinks the document has been around since Nov 15, 2012. If you do this search.

    http:2012 ATF M855 Search

    It returns the current proposal as the first result and the date on it is Nov 15, 2012. The document properties on the PDF show a file created date of 2/13/2015 by Denise Brown using Micosoft Word 2013.

    Can anyone else verify that this is what they see too?

    The internet archive does show not a version from 2012.
    http://ATF proposal at internet archive

    It’s first version is 2/14/2015 but Google thinks the document has been around longer. Seems suspicious to me.

  16. This article is bogus, though. Removing a sentence exempting the round doesn’t mean that it is, therefore, already banned. M855 does NOT meet the legal definition of armor-piercing so it doesn’t matter if it is exempted or not.

    M855 has not yet been expressly banned. This article proves the administrations level of evil, but not its primary point that M855 is already banned. It is NOT.

  17. I’m surpised we haven’t seen a sanction/import ban on Wolf, Tula ammo.
    I think it would be awhile before an American outfit could tool up for a steel case 7.62x39mm line. Even when they did you can bet it will be more than 30 cents a round.

    Same goes for all the surplus 7.62x54R. I’m pretty sure the light ball silver tip has steel in it. Not AP but it is a bi metal. (95%sure)

    • Actually, we can get 7.62×39 from countries other than Russia and Ukraine. 5.45×39… not so much. 90% of that comes from those two countries.

  18. What’s next you ask ? My money is on a dog and pony show , high profile entrapment style arrest(s) , to show how needed this corrupt outfit is. ” If you cut our funding , the boogie-man will get us all ” Standard playbook.

    • I think the ban as been planned since 2012 when they asked for input on how to define sporting purposes.

      I have another post that is currently awaiting moderation that shows that a google search for the ATF proposal PDF shows a date of Nov 15, 2012 for the document. I don’t know how google calculates the date but it looks like they had a draft or something back then.

  19. Well, if that don’t just beat all. . .

    Then an EFP will.

    Ban enough of the regular crap and the crap of the world goes freelance; kinda like a weapons ban and Karate. It’s human nature, and history has so written.

  20. This evidence may actually be enough to force the ban off the table, at least for now. It is a plain violation of the APA and which the Supreme Court just recently slapped (9-0) the ever-loving crap out of EPA in Sackett v. EPA for this kind of “sentence first — verdict after” approach to the Administrative Procedures Act.

    They just engaged in double-secret rulemaking in the January pre-rule manual — and are only now just papering the file to satisfy the APA formalities. That’s something that might be enjoined to make them start over on the merits of lifting the exemption.

  21. LOOK!!!!!
    I will gladly save all of you from being potential felons, by purchasing all of your M855 at the fair market value of $.01/round. Yes, you read that right. I will give YOU money, to keep you from being a felon. You don’t get that kind of a deal very often, so hurry and take advantage of me now.

  22. Why are so many so surprised? The first reading of the ATF document made it clear to me the decision had already been made to ban M855 & SS109, and they were only soliciting comments on how to remove the ammo from the market. This is why I did not submit a comment to ATF. Instead I contacted my Congressional delegation, with the opening statement “I am contacting you regarding the ATF decision to ban SS109 and M855 5.56 caliber ammunition and change the definition of armor-piercing ammunition….”

  23. So, at the bottom of some bucket, range bag or rolling under my car seat is a felony time bomb?

  24. I haven’t read the whole 2014 guide but it looks like they have reworked how the manual specifies “armor piercing” ammunition. If you look on page 190, there is a specific list of “armor piercing” ammunition and it does not appear to include M855/SS109 (I’m no ammo expert).

    While I’m as adamantly against the proposed ATF ban of M855/SS109 as anyone else here, I don’t think the 2014 ATF guide is a “smoking gun” (so to speak) of a ban having been already affected.

  25. Soooo…..where does the Federal Bureaucracy and Executive branches legally derive their legislative capabilities? Where does the Constitution state that Congress can delegate its legislative authority?

  26. Section xyz
    1. No Federal agency may regulate in any manner, any small arms ammunition.
    2. (1) shall supercede any section of any Federal statute or regulation.

    Fix ATFs little red wagon in 22 words. Congress tack on to some veto proof bill.

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