Today, it’s legal. Tomorrow, it might not be. By executive fiat, the Obama administration intends to eliminate one of the most common types of .223-caliber ammunition, used by the AR-15 and other general-purpose rifles. Why? Ostensibly because a type of handgun developed in recent years is also capable of firing the so-called “armor-piercing” or “green-tipped” rounds traditionally fired only by rifles. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced on Feb. 14 a proposed ban on the manufacture, sale or importation of a popular form of ammunition used by thousands of law-abiding gun owners. Within hours of the announcement, the prices on the green-tipped .223-caliber rounds started skyrocketing.
The rule change affects the Gun Control Act of 1968 as amended by Congress in 1986. Under pressure from the law-enforcement lobby, Congress in 1986 inserted language into the law designed to prevent so-called “cop killer” bullets from being used by pistol-toting criminals. The law was never intended in its original form to affect ammunition for rifles, as it was a given that rounds from any high-powered hunting rifle could penetrate the soft armor worn by officers. “This is just another example of the Obama administration using executive authority to attack the rights of gun owners,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. “Obama thinks he is ‘dictator in chief’ and can go around Congress to ban ammunition and punish legitimate gun owners. The Obama administration has doubled down on their war on gun owners.”
The Conservative Tribune said the move was an obvious political ploy. “Obama is really stretching saying that M855 ammunition is an ‘armor piercing’ round being used in a handgun. The goal is obviously political… to ban common ammo to undermine the Second Amendment,” the Tribune said. “The White House knows that it can’t ban the firearms so going after the ammunition is the next best thing.” Jerry Henry, executive director of GeorgiaCarry.org, was equally outraged by the announcement. More