A previous report stated .223 ammunition rounds were to be considered armor piercing by the ATF, however, this was not totally true. Rather, .223 rounds would not be considered armor piercing rounds, but the 5.56mm green tip bullets used in both SS109 and M855 cartridges could be placed in the category of armor piercing rounds.
Upon further reading on the subject, these 5.56mm rounds were exempt from classification in the amendment to the GCA made in 1986, because handguns which could handle this type of ammunition were not commercially available. These rounds are commonly used in AR-style rifles as well as AR-style handguns, of which the handguns have become more widely available in recent years.
The ATF recognizes this ammo type can be used for “sporting purposes” such as for target shooting or hunting, as it is generally more accurate. The main concern lies with handguns which can consecutively fire more than one round without reloading, such as revolvers and semi-automatic handguns. The ATF concludes the types of handguns which use this type of ammunition are not primarily used for sporting purposes, and the ban would be on ammunition which would be able to be fired from these types of handguns.
However, any cartridges, 5.56mm or not, which are meant to be fired from a single-shot handgun, a handgun which can “break-open” or is a “bolt action handgun,” will continue to be exempt from armor piercing status as they are recognized as being used for sporting purposes. Handguns which do not accept a single cartridge manually and accept in its place a magazine or other ammunition feeding device will not be recognized as for use in sporting purposes either.
Finally, the ATF writes, “ammunition that was previously exempted as ‘primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes,’ specifically 5.56mm constituent projectiles of SS109 and M855 cartridges, will again be regulated as “‘armor piercing ammunition.'”
As a writer for Truth in Media, I apologize for the previous article on this subject where I stated AR-style rifles would be “rendered obsolete.” This in incorrect and I take full responsibility for my mistake. I will continue to strive for the truth behind stories from around the world. Again, I apologize for my mistake.