Obama administration to ban bullets; AR-15 targeted
Another week, another example of the president's unending executive power grabs. The target this time is the most popular sporting and target shooting rifles sold in America; the AR-15.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is proposing a ban on the most popular ammunition for the AR-15, trying to backdoor Congress again on gun control.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56 mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela's, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.
Wednesday night, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stepped in with a critical letter to the bureau demanding it explain the surprise and abrupt bullet ban. The letter is shown below.
The National Rifle Association, which is working with Goodlatte to gather co-signers, told Secrets that30 House members have already co-signed the letter and Goodlatte and the NRA are hoping to get a total of 100 fast.
"The Obama administration was unable to ban America's most popular sporting rifle through the legislative process, so now it's trying to ban commonly owned and used ammunition through regulation," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, the group's policy and lobby shop. "The NRA and our tens of millions of supporters across the country will fight to stop President Obama's latest attack on our Second Amendment freedoms."
At issue is so-called "armor-piercing" ammunition, an exemption for those bullets mostly used for sport by AR-15 owners, and the recent popularity of pistol-style ARs that use the ammo.
The inexpensive 5.56 M855 ammo, commonly called lightgreen tips, have been exempt for years, as have higher-caliber ammunition that also easily pierces the type of soft armor worn by police, because it's mostly used by target shooters, not criminals. The agency proposes to reclassify it as armor-piercing and not exempt.
But now BATFE says that since the bullets can be used in semi-automatic handguns they pose a threat to police and must be banned from production, sale and use. But, as Goodlatte noted, the agency offered no proof. Federal agencies will still be allowed to buy the ammo.
"This round is amongst the most commonly used in the most popular rifle design in America, the AR-15. Millions upon millions of M855 rounds have been sold and used in the U.S., yet ATF has not even alleged — much less offered evidence — that even one such round has ever been fired from a handgun at a police officer," said Goodlatte's letter.
We're getting used to asking the question, "Can he really do that?". The answer is, unless the courts are of a mind to stop him, he can do pretty much anything he pleases. In this case, the overreach is so egregious, that a bi-partisan Congress may step in and stifle the BATFE. If the president would veto congressional action opposing him on the ammunition issue, there may be more than a dozen Democratic Senators will to vote with the GOP to override.
Until Obama came along, the Second Amendment had been enjoying something of a winning streak in state legislatures and the courts, with some notable exceptions in backwards blue states. But even Chicago and Washington, D.C. lost court cases that overturned some of their more draconian gun control laws.
This latest stealth assault on the Second Amendment is cowardly and unnecessary. The BATFE is bypassing Congress because such an ammunition ban wouldn't have a prayer of passing. By relying on royal edicts to impose his will, the president is making a mockery of the Constitution.