Last Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed an amendment, originally introduced by Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) into the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill, that would block the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives from retroactively redefining common rifle ammo as “armor piercing” in an effort to use a legal loophole to ban bullets through the executive branch. The legislative push to protect rifle ammo comes on the heels of a failed Obama administration effort to direct the ATF to ban .223-caliber M855 “green tip” rounds, which are popular among AR-15 enthusiasts.
In addition to Massie’s amendment, two other pro-gun amendments were tacked on to the CJS appropriations bill. “Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced an amendment that would prevent any M855 or SS109 (.223 caliber / 5.56mm x 45mm) type rifle ammunition from being treated as ‘armor piercing’ ammunition. This comes after the [ATF] backed off a controversial proposal in March to restrict the popular M855/SS109 ammunition. Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) introduced an amendment that would overturn a 2014 administrative ban on 7N6 type (5.45mm x 39mm) ammunition. Both the Hudson amendment and the Gosar amendment passed by voice vote,” read a press release from Representative Massie’s office.