WASHINGTON, DC (WPMT) The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives(ATF) seeks to ban certain types of 5.56mm/.223 caliber ammunition. The bullets are commonly used with the popular AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle for sporting purposes, such as target shooting.
In a 17 page document released earlier this month the ATF proposed the reclassification of “5.56mm constituent projectiles of SS109 and M855 cartridges” from the category of “primarily used for sporting purposes” to that of “armor piercing ammunition.” The agency fears that the ammunition used in AR based handguns can penetrate bullet proof vests worn by law enforcement officers.
Commonly available steel-core, “green tip” M855 and SS109 rifle ammunition that is primarily intended and regularly used for “sporting purposes,” like target shooting, has been exempt from federal law banning armor piercing ammunition for decades. A ban would have far reaching implications for target shooter, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.
To read the entire 17 page ATF document proposing the ban click here. The ATF is taking public comment on the proposed ban of commonly available steel-core ball ammunition until March 16.