Update on M855 ATF “Armor Piercing Ammunition Exemption Framework”


First, a huge “THANK YOU” to everyone who took the time to address this proposal with the ATF and your elected officials. Over 80,000 comments were recorded when the ATF closed the comment period ahead of the original March 18th deadline.

I expect they were quite surprised when most of the submitted comments were, in their words, “…critical of the framework”.

Before we all get busy doing a happy dance, we need to remember this is far from over. There’s still some major flaws that need to be ironed out in the entire “sporting use” clause. The ATF self-determines what is sporting use, and then can use this framework to ban whatever they please without a vote. This is a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house. Don’t be complacent in thinking this is a dead issue. Gun owners must remain vigilant to prevent the ATF from further pursuing this issue when—not if—it arises again.

The ATF clearly retreated on this one, but only to regroup and try a different form of attack on this and other issues when it is more convenient or when they can capitalize on another tragedy. We won this battle but the war on our rights is still ongoing.

Read the full ATF release below.

ATF Letterhead

Special Advisory

Public Affairs Division – Washington, DC

March 10, 2015

Contact: Public Affairs Division




Thank you for your interest in ATF’s proposed framework for determining whether certain projectiles are “primarily intended for sporting purposes” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(C). The informal comment period will close on Monday, March 16, 2015. ATF has already received more than 80,000 comments, which will be made publicly available as soon as practicable.

Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study. Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework.


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