The run on AR-15 ammunition continues apace as gun stores across the country report a “buying frenzy” that has exhausted supplies in anticipation of an ATF ban on M855 “green tip” bullets, which some gun owners fear could lead to a total ban on tactical rifles.
Last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced its intention to ban sales of the ammunition, typically used by sports shooters, in the name of protecting law enforcement officers from “the threat posed by ammunition capable of penetrating a protective vest.”
Fearful that this is just the first step towards the eventual goal of banning semi-automatic rifles altogether, gun owners have responded by stockpiling the bullets, which are the cheapest available for AR-15’s, prompting nationwide shortages.
“Oh we sold out of it in two days, every bit of it I had,” said Chuck Scott, owner of the Aiken Gun Rack and Range in Aiken, S.C., adding that the ATF’s proposal had created a a buying frenzy and panic.
Scott noted that the feds were, “banning something that’s going to affect hundreds of thousands of sports shooters, it’s rarely ever used in a crime.”
“Once they get this bullet off the market they’ll go for the next and the next,” remarked Mike Ludwiksowski, a keen hunter.
His sentiments were echoed by another gun owner in Oklahoma, who told News 9, “I think it’s them just trying to do little bits and pieces to get to their ultimate goal to ban tactical style rifles.”
Blue Buchanan, owner of Wilshire Gun in Oklahoma, said the ATF’s announcement had prompted a rush of customers wanting to purchase AR-15 ammo.
“Especially over the last two days we’ve had a large run on 5.56 and 223 ammo. We’ve sold much more than we normally do,” remarked Buchanan, adding, “The distributors are pretty much sold out so what we have is what we have for a while until the panic dies down.”
As we previously reported, gun stores in Indiana, Anchorage, Florida, and Springfield, Missouri are all reporting that they have completely sold out of the ammunition.
The ATF is taking public comments on the proposed ban until March 16. Congressman Tom Rooney has introduced legislation to stop its implementation, while House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte has authored a bipartisan letter to President Obama and has vowed to fight the issue in the courts if necessary.