Indiana Daily Student

ATF holds back ammunition proposal

Firearms and related products were displayed and speakers discussed gun-related issues at the 143rd NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits at the Indiana Convention Center on April 26, 2014.
Firearms and related products were displayed and speakers discussed gun-related issues at the 143rd NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits at the Indiana Convention Center on April 26, 2014.

A group of 53 Republican senators signed a letter protesting a new proposal by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that would set guidelines to determine whether or not certain types of ammunition meet safety guidelines, the M855 “green tip” ?ammunition.

The ATF released a statement Tuesday that it would not seek to issue the final guidelines at the time.

Because of the 1986 Law Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act, certain types of armor-piercing ammunition were banned to protect law enforcement officials but provided exemptions in cases of “sporting purposes.”

The ATF released a statement detailing the reasons for the guidelines, citing the Gun Control Act of 1968, which prohibits the import, manufacture and distribution of armor-piercing ammunition as a means with which to further regulate ?ammunition.

“Interpreting the meaning of this statutory language, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ?Explosives has developed a framework that will apply to requests seeking a determination that certain projectiles qualify for this ‘sporting purpose’ exemption,” the agency said in their ?statement.

Miles Vining, the current head of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus at IU, was skeptical about the claims made by the ATF.

“It’s one type of round, which the military happens to use,” Vining said. “The ATF is saying that this is an armor-piercing round. What their justification for that is that this is an armor-piercing round that can be fired from a handgun ... and that should be banned. That whole premise is a complete flaw and is illegitimate.” Vining explained the M855 doesn’t exhibit vastly different properties than most ammunition on the market, and that this type of ammunition isn’t armor-piercing.

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., said under the Second Amendment, gun owners should legally be able to obtain rifle ?ammunition for sporting purposes.

“Second Amendment rights require not only access to firearms but to bullets,” Coats said in a press release. “If law-abiding gun owners cannot obtain rifle ammunition or face substantial difficulty in finding ammunition available and at reasonable prices because government entities are banning such ammunition, then the Second Amendment ?is at risk.”

In the letter signed by the senators, they claim the ATF does not have the authority to regulate rifle ammunition in the way proposed.

In the letter it states, “No federal statute ... interferes with the ability of law-abiding citizens to obtain ammunition commonly used for such legitimate purposes as target shooting, hunting and shooting competitions. Nor should any statute do so consistent with the Second Amendment.”

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