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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has released a plan which would reclassify the popular .223 (M855) round as an armor piercing round.

This particular ammo type is most commonly used in all AR-15 style rifles, and if the ammo were to be reclassified, these firearms would be rendered obsolete without the proper ammo.

Reclassification of the .223 round as an armor piercing round would effectively ban sales of the round to all civilians under the Gun Control Act of 1968. The GCA says any ammo “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes,” is the only ammo allowed to be sold to the general public. The ATF defines armor piercing rounds, though, as any ammo which is meant to penetrate body armor and was manufactured for military or police use.

However, the GCA was amended in 1986 to allow exceptions in the original Act. The amended Act, therefore, allows armor piercing rounds to be sold to”government agencies,” as well as “for testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General.” 

The NRA Institute for Legislative Action though, is calling the new ban a “continuation of Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.”

The NRA-ILA also said by definition, the .223 (M855) round cannot be classified as armor piercing because the law lists a number of metals, such as tungsten alloy, steel, or even depleted uranium, which are used in the cores of armor piercing rounds. The .223 (M855) round however has a traditional lead core with a steel tip, and “therefore should never be considered ‘armor piercing,'” according to the NRA-ILA.

The ATF has said they will accept comments on the new framework for 30 days, and the comments will be taken into consideration for the final draft of the framework.

 

This article has a correction. Please click HERE to read.

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