Democrats in Congress are calling for the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to use “existing authority” to ban M855 green-tip cartridges after the federal agency backed down last week following a public outcry.
“We hope that the Bureau will swiftly review comments on the proposed framework and issue a revised proposal that will address the danger posed by handguns that fire 5.56mm and other rifle ammunition,” Democrats said in a letter to the director of ATF.
The public comment period for the proposed ban ends Monday.
“It is critical to update this legislation as new technologies are developed in order to keep law enforcement officers and our communities safe,” the Democrats continue. “That is why we urge you not to drag out this delay and to act swiftly to keep armor-piercing ammunition that can be used in handguns off the street.”
In an effort to overstep the agency and ignore public opposition to the effort to outlaw the popular ammunition, New York Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel introduced legislation that would outlaw the M855 outright. Engel and the Democrats insist no one other than police and the military the ammo.
Congressional Democrats argue an “out-of-touch gun industry lobby is fighting tooth and nail to keep cop-killing ammunition on the streets.” They also claim “to speak up on behalf of our police officers” who believe upholding the Second Amendment is “madness.”
Despite the rhetoric, the ammunition in question does not threaten police.
“Any ammunition is of concern to police in the wrong hands, but this specific round has historically not posed a law enforcement problem,” James Pasco, executive director of the Washington office of the Fraternal Order of Police, the world’s largest organization, said earlier this month.
The BATFE, however, disagrees and says not only the M855 threatens police, but all 5.56 ammunition does. Last week BATFE Director B. Todd Jones testified before a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing: