Skip to comments.BATFE Taking Comments on "Sporting Purposes" Exemption to "Armor Piercing Ammunition" Law Until
Posted on 12/08/2012 7:23:14 AM PST by marktwain
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is taking public comments on its website until December 31, with regard to how it should determine what types of projectiles meet the "sporting purposes" exception to the federal "armor piercing ammunition" law. At this time, the question centers primarily around rifle-caliber projectiles made of metals harder than lead, such as the Barnes Bullets solid brass hunting bullets.
Under the law, adopted in 1986, "armor piercing ammunition" is defined as "a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium." A second definition, added in the 1990s, includes "a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile."
Because handguns have been made in certain rifle calibers, many bullets that were designed originally for rifles also "may be used in a handgun." If such projectiles are made of the metals listed in the law, they are restricted as "armor piercing ammunition" unless they meet one of the law's exemptions. Being considered at this time is the exemption for "a projectile which the Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes."
Last week, BATFE met separately with gun control activist groups, firearm industry groups, and groups representing hunters and other gun owners. The latter meeting included the NRA; Safari Club International; representatives of state wildlife agencies; and firearm and ammunition importers.
BATFE has expressed two opinions about the law and exemption that warrant particular scrutiny.
First, BATFE suggested that it believes that the "armor piercing ammunition" law was intended to affect all ammunition capable of penetrating soft body armor worn by law enforcement officers. NRA reminded BATFE that the law was intended to protect law enforcement officers against the potential threat posed a very narrowly-defined category of projectiles: those, such as KTW and Arcane, which by virtue of their hard metal construction were designed and intended to be used by law enforcement officers to shoot through hard objects, such as automobile glass and doors, when fired at the velocities typical of handgun-caliber ammunition fired from handguns. Neither before nor since the law's enactment, has an officer been killed due to such a bullet penetrating soft body armor.
NRA further pointed out that the legislative history of the law clearly shows that members of Congress, including the sponsor of the law in the House, Rep. Mario Biaggi (D-N.Y.), a decorated former NYPD police officer, expressly did not want the law to restrict rifle-caliber bullets that happen to also be useable in handguns chambered to use rifle cartridges.
Second, BATFE says it considers projectiles to not be exempt under the "sporting purposes" test if they "pose a threat to public safety and law enforcement." BATFE also expressed concern that since the law was adopted, various new rifle-caliber handguns have been invented. On that point, NRA made clear that the sporting purposes exemption is straightforward: it applies to all projectiles that are "primarily intended for sporting purposes"--nothing more, and nothing less. Under the law, a projectile would be exempt if it is primarily intended for sporting purposes, even if it is secondarily intended for self-defense or some other legitimate purpose. Furthermore, the law does not condition its restrictive language or its "sporting purposes" exemption on the design of a particular handgun; the law is concerned only with specific projectiles that can be used in handguns. NRA cautioned the BATFE against interpreting the law in a manner more restrictive than Congress intended.
For more information on ATF's position and information on how to submit comments by the Dec. 31 deadline, go to www.atf.gov/firearms/industry/.
This is primarily in opposition to FN-57 ammunition for FN pistols, I think. The same handgun and ammuntion used at Ft. Hood TERROR ATTACK.
I for one, want an armor piercing 30’06 round for those bucks that have armored up with vests.....ha ha....
Sounds like they are working themselves around to Kennedy’s “performance standard” for defining “armor piercing” rather than by actual design.
Basically, if a round can defeat Level IIa soft body armor, it’ll illegal.
That is every round out there faster than 1700 fps. We’d be relegated to 80% of our pistol calibers and no Rifle calibers over .22 lr.
They are reading the Tea Leaves too. Bad times are a-coming and they want to skew the odds in their favor.
You sure you’re in the right place??
Ban “armor piercing” because its not needed for hunting and then ban lead ammunition because its bad for the environment.
No. This is primarily about getting more of the camel under the edge of the tent....
The ammo makers have come up with solid metal bullets for hunting
This is a direct shot at them in areas no lead allowed it would stop hunting.
As much as you are.
I could see this affecting the SS109 5.56(.223) rifle bullets that have Steel Cores(green tipped), which are very popular with folks that have AR15s.
This is getting entertaining. The environuts don’t want us using Lead rounds/shot, and the ATF seems to have a problem with ammo that’s harder than Lead. What’s one to do? I could imagine Gold and Silver bullets being a tad expensive.
Keep a close eye on this folks.
The BATFE already went after Barnes for their banded-solids bullet.
Why? Armor piercing. Not by design, but by performance.
"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."
Yep. I’ve posted that quote a few times myself.
Good article here:
WSJ: The Fallicy of “Low” or “Declining” Homicide Numbers
The Wall Street Journal
Updated December 8, 2012, 12:12 a.m. ET
In Medical Triumph, Homicides Fall Despite Soaring Gun Violence
By GARY FIELDS and CAMERON MCWHIRTER
BALTIMOREThe number of U.S. homicides has been falling for two decades, but America has become no less violent.
Crime experts who attribute the drop in killings to better policing or an aging population fail to square the image of a more tranquil nation with this statistic: The reported number of people treated for gunshot attacks from 2001 to 2011 has grown by nearly half.
“Did everybody become a lousy shot all of a sudden? No,” said Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, a union that represents about 330,000 officers. “The potential for a victim to survive a wound is greater than it was 15 years ago.”
In other words, more people in the U.S. are getting shot, but doctors have gotten better at patching them up. Improved medical care doesn’t account for the entire decline in homicides but experts say it is a major factor.
Emergency-room physicians who treat victims of gunshot and knife attacks say more people survive because of the spread of hospital trauma centerswhich specialize in treating severe injuriesthe increased use of helicopters to ferry patients, better training of first-responders and lessons gleaned from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Our experience is we are saving many more people we didn’t save even 10 years ago,” said C. William Schwab, director of the Firearm and Injury Center at the University of Pennsylvania and the professor of surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania...
Glad I picked a bunch of those up already.
How does this square with the push for “lead free’ ammunition?
Nothing harder that lead + no lead = NO AMMUNITION!
(Unless you make it yerself, that is.)
An arrow from a hunting bow or crossbow will slice through both sides of a Kevlar vest with ease, BTW.
Yes they have had a thing for FN 57 for a long while now.
More unsettling is that they are looking for an excuse to classify AR’s and AK’s as Class three’s so you have to pay the extra $200 and register the weapon. You would have to keep it locked up in a safe, notify BATFE if you move it to another location and be prepared for unannounced visits from agents at any time.
IMO they know what is coming and are trying to do anything possible to mitigate it.
The article touches on three main points: 1)rifle caliber ammo for handguns, 2) BATFEs assertion that a ban on ammo that can breach soft armored LEOs, and 3) the old “public threat or LEO danger” canard arguing against allowing this ammo for it’s absurd “sporting purposes” legitimization for anything weapons.
Rifle Caliber for handguns: I own quite a lot of weapons, actually; the only rifle/handgun compatible are 45 ACP, 45 Colt, and 9MM. And there is the Governor variety with 45ACP, 45 Colt and .410 shotgun shell variety. None of these contain what I’d call “hard construction” - armor piercing - the most exotic these get are of the frangible/dispersive variety. I own quite a few rifles, too. 30’06, 30 Carbine, 7.62 X 39/54, 223/5.56, 9mm, 8 mm, 7.65 mm, and so on. There are ammo versions that are AP for most of them (except the 9mm).
There is, however, the FN 5.7 handgun ammo for that caliber which is what I’d call armor piercing. The same the Muslim Terrorist used at Ft. Hood.
The handgun/rifle crap is just that - crap. Just like that patently specious attitude that weapons have to be for “sporting purposes”.....
In my opinion, the first victim on the list is Fabrique Nationale pistols with their 5.7 ammo, and that will be followed up with a ban on all “non-sporting” ammunition which will include tracers, armored, dissipative (DRT ammo), hollow points, etc.
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