AG Strange urges ATF to permanently discard proposal to ban popular sportsman ammo

Published 3:26 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and 22 other state Attorneys General have sent a letter to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) urging the agency to permanently discard a proposed ban on M855 5.56 x 45mm ammunition. On March 10, ATF shelved the proposal after an outpouring of opposition, including from the law enforcement community.

“Law enforcement has joined in asserting that this ammunition does not pose a public safety threat to them, and we know of no situation in which this has been used against law enforcement in any of our states,” Attorney General Strange said. “Rather, it is one of the most popular target shooting range rounds, and also is effectively used by farmers and ranchers to protect their livestock from predators.”

After shelving the proposal, ATF indicated it would continue to take public comment until the close of business on March 16. In the letter submitted to ATF yesterday, Attorney General Strange and the other Attorneys General contend that the proposed ban is arbitrary, unnecessary, and could easily lead to bans on a wide range of rifle ammunition.

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“We applaud your recent decision not to issue a final framework on this proposal, at least for now, and we strongly encourage you not to revive it,” the letter states. “We represent our respective states as each state’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, and in that role we directly oversee or work directly with numerous federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies. We, as much as anyone, want to do the utmost to ensure that our brave men and women that serve in law enforcement are safe. The proposed ATF ban on M855 5.56 ammunition, however, does not advance that goal. Instead, it threatens Second Amendment freedoms and deprives shooting sports enthusiasts of a popular cartridge for a popular rifle.”

The attorneys general highlighted the opposition to the ban voiced by law enforcement organizations.

“As law enforcement organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police have recently described, the 5.56 M855 cartridge does not pose a particular threat to law enforcement. Indeed, we are aware of no examples in our states in which this round has been used against law enforcement in a concealed weapon.”

In closing, the 23 attorneys general urged ATF “to reject this ill-advised proposal and uphold the Second Amendment rights of our citizens.”

The letter was signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.