In February, we reported that the ATF was banning a popular ammunition, M855, calling it “armor piercing.” That rule change, the ATF said in a statement, was due to a “publishing error.”
Here is the full statement:
On Feb. 13, 2015, ATF released for public comment a proposed framework, including legal and technical analysis, to guide its determination on what ammunition is “primarily intended for sporting purposes” for purposes of granting exemptions to the Gun Control Act’s prohibition on Armor Piecing Ammunition. This proposed framework is posted for public comment only; no final decisions have been made as to its adoption. Media reports have noted that the 2014 ATF Regulation Guide published online does not contain a listing of the exemptions for Armor Piercing Ammunition, and concluding that the absence of this listing indicates these exemptions have been rescinded. Please be advised that ATF has not rescinded any Armor Piercing Ammunition exemption, and the fact they are not listed in the 2014 online edition of the regulations, was an error, which has no legal impact on the validity of the exemptions. The existing exemptions for armor piercing ammunition, which apply to 5.56 mm (.223) SS 109 and M855 projectiles (identified by a green coating on the projectile tip), and the U.S .30-06 M2AP projectile (identified by a black coating on the projectile tip), remain in effect. The listing of Armor Piercing Ammunition exemptions can be found in the 2005 ATF Regulation Guide on page 166, which is posted here. The 2014 Regulation Guide will be corrected in PDF format to include the listing of Armor Piercing Ammunition exemptions and posted shortly. The e-book/iBook version of the Regulation Guide will be corrected in the near future. ATF apologizes for any confusion caused by this publishing error.
According to The Blaze, “Despite this correction, several observers noted that the ATF is still considering a ban of this popular ammunition, as outlined in their proposed framework.”
Apparently, the ATF is strongly considering a new stance that would get rid of a decades-old exemption that allowed the sale of the M855. They are currently taking public comments on this proposal.
Update: The ATF shelves the ammo ban.