Barack Obama and the ATF are in the news again with their attempt to ban the M855 projectile. The popular cartridge can be found in 5.56x45mm or .223 rifles, most notably the AR-15. The ATF claims their intent is to protect law enforcement. Of course, facts and logic, not to mention liberty, are insufficient deterrents for the agency.
Currently, the ATF has a ban on armor-piercing rounds for handguns. The standard handgun round, like the small calibers used in most gun crime, are incapable of penetrating body armor. However, due to the higher velocities, most rifle projectiles could easily pierce the vests worn by officers. According to the existing ATF ban, M855 ball ammunition does not meet the material qualifications to be labeled “armor piercing”, nor is it constructed the same way. [RELATED: Anti-gun Democrats Have No Clue How Guns Work]
In light of this misleading nomenclature, the ATF claims the ammunition could be used in “small, concealable handguns”. What handgun are they referring to? That would be the Sig Sauer SB15 and other AR-15 pistol variants. With a minimum 8” barrel and full size buffer tube, I would hardly describe it as concealable. Other than that, there are no semi-automatic handguns that use the 5.56x45mm round.
Technical details aside, the ATF’s supposed intent to “protect law enforcement” lacks factual support and can be easily discredited. According to crime statistics, assault rifles were used in about 3% of gun crime. The ATF would have to mobilize resources, financed by yours truly, to ban a projectile used in a firearm that accounts for a meaningless amount of crime.
Their claim to protect law enforcement implies that law enforcement needs more protection. In fact, police officers are not even in the top ten deadliest jobs nor are they close to it. Twenty-seven police officers were feloniously killed in 2013, which is the lowest number in over 50 years. Even according to the FBI, violent crime is at an all-time low.
For some reason, the ATF is convinced officers need more protection while on the street. If the ATF wants to protect officers, perhaps they should focus on their suicide rate. In recent years, more officers committed suicide than were killed in the line of duty.
By virtue of being human, we all have the right to our bodies, which includes self-defense of those bodies. When self-defense is criminalized, the effective legal precedent implies “only the government can protect your body and decide how you do so”. Pundits often cite polls of how many people are opposed to guns in certain places, such as college campuses. As if other people should decide, or are qualified to, the arbitrary boundaries and means of self-defense. If someone attacks you, I highly doubt you’re going to wish you had less effective ammunition.
In spite of glaring statistics and inconsistent legalese, the ATF and Barack Obama remain steadfast in pursuit of their ban. Given this readily available information, they are either completely incompetent, motivated entirely by political relationships, or there is an underlying sinister intent. I am no conspiracy theorist, but I think it’s worth mentioning.
I do not want to become a felon simply for possessing something that has been legal for a long time. Like all bans, the State will use their forceful tactics to confiscate ammunition. Considering the history of civil disobedience from gun owners, I highly doubt any of us will be lining up to turn in our ammunition.
You can sign a petition to oppose the ATF ban on M855 here.