On Friday February 13 at 4:00 pm, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms released a proposal to ban commonly used M855 “green tip” AR-15 ammunition under the guise of law enforcement safety. The same day the proposal was released, on a Friday of a three day holiday weekend, ATF opened up a shortened 30-day period for the public to submit comments about the new regulation.
But it turns out, ATF has been working on a ban of AR-15 “green-tip” ammunition for quite some time and has already issued the ban in its new, 2014 Regulation Guide. For reference, ATF Regulation Guides come out approximately every ten years.
When you take a look at the 2005 ATF Regulation Guide, you’ll see an exemption for AR-15 “green-tip” ammunition, which means it exempted from the definition of “armor piercing” and therefore is legal on the federal level.
When you look at the last page of the new, most recent ATF 2014 Regulation Guide, which was published in January, there is no longer an exemption for AR-15 “green-tip” ammunition.