ATF to Reclassify M855/SS109 as Armor Piercing

The ATF is exploring the reclassification of M855/SS109 ammunition as armor piercing. Exploring may not be the right word. They intend to do it but they are “considering” public comments on the matter before putting the new regulatory framework in place.

According to a PDF that is available at the ATF website

Some ammunition that was previously exempted as “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes,” specifically 5.56mm constituent projectiles of SS109 and M855 cartridges, will again be regulated as “armor piercing ammunition.” Except as provided by law, no person may manufacture or import such ammunition, and manufacturers or importers may not sell or deliver such ammunition. ATF will maintain the exemption for 30-06 M2AP cartridges.

There is no phrase on the face of this earth that raises my blood pressure like “sporting purposes”.

Start contacting your Representatives now. The House of Representatives website makes it easy. According to the previously mentioned PDF, the ATF will also be hearing pubic comments:

ATF will carefully consider all comments, as appropriate, received on or before March 16, 2015, and will give comments received after that date the same consideration if it is practical todo so, but assurance of consideration cannot be given except as to  comments received on or before March 16, 2015. ATF will not acknowledge receipt of comments.
Submit comments in any of three ways (but do not submit the same comments multiple
times or by more than one method):
  • ATF website: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: (202) 648-9741.
  • Mail: Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programsand Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments

UPDATE: Let me be clear. This is not a “fight” that you can afford to watch from the sidelines. This is a case of a government agency creating and interpreting law in whatever way will meet their political ends without oversight. They are banning of one of the most common, easily available, and affordable types of ammunition for one of the most common and widely distributed types of firearms (the AR-15). This effects the ease at which you can practice your Second Amendment right and is therefore an infringement.

This logic of banning rifle ammo that can be used in “handgun” under the guise of police officer safety and lack of “sporting purpose” is erroneous. Nearly ALL rifle calibers will defeat the soft armor worn by police officers and the ATF knows that. Sporting purpose has no place in a discussion of the Second Amendment rights and the ATF knows that as well. This is purely a politically expedient and incremental step toward an obvious end game. If this logic is allowed to be extended, it can be used to ban a wide variety of ammunition and eventually even firearms.

Start writing and calling your Representatives and the ATF now.

One Response to ATF to Reclassify M855/SS109 as Armor Piercing

  1. PACE Dev Group (@PACEDevGroup) February 15, 2015 at 20:07 #


    It’s folks like you that can make one of the biggest differences in combating stupid proposals like this. Please consider making the process of getting involved even easier.


    Pre-written letter that folks can attach to an email.
    Button that asks only for email and zip code.
    Cut and paste-able code for folks who have websites to put up banners helping this cause.

    The sad truth is that most folks don’t have the time or patience to follow through on a something like this. While it maybe an extra pain for bloggers like you to do, the extra 15 minutes you take can mean the difference of a couple of responses to thousands. The name of the game these days is to make stuff like this as frictionless and easy as possible, especially when the issues matter. Otherwise great stuff, thanks for doing what you do.

    Keep it up,


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