There’s no question that Americans are getting fed up with President Obama’s executive orders and obvious lack of respect for our system of checks and balances, which is likely why outrage ensued after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that it would no longer allow the popular M855 armor piercing round to be exempted from the list of banned ammunition. Americans pushed back against the executive overreach with all of our might, and this time we won.
In February, Mad World News first reported that the ATF would be lifting the exemption on the round, which would have banned its importation, manufacture, and sale by licensed manufacturers and importers. The proposed move sparked outrage among the pro-Second Amendment crowd, who saw it as a sort of backdoor gun control from the Obama administration, since the round is primarily used in the AR-15.
Along with the outrage seen across the country, a letter was penned to the ATF by the majority of Congress, according to KTVQ-TV. In a bipartisan move, 239 members of the House sent the agency’s director a strong message saying they weren’t acting in accordance with current laws, and that despite direction from the White House, they were overstepping their authority.
“The ‘Framework’ does not comport – or conduct – with the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act’s meaning and intent and should be abandoned,” and “Under no circumstances should ATF adopt a standard that will ban ammunition that is overwhelmingly used by law-abiding Americans for legitimate purposes.”
But after America pushed back against the Obama administration’s draconian plans, the agency reversed course, saying that the previous guidance wasn’t printed properly, and the exemption would remain in place.
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) March 7, 2015
“Media reports have noted that the 2014 ATF regulation guide published online does not contain a listing of the exemptions for armor piercing ammunition, and conclude that the absence of this listing indicates these exemptions have been rescinded,” the ATF said in a release linked to that tweet. “This is not the case.”
A link attached to the tweet stated that the prior regulations had “no legal impact” on the exemptions and that the round would still remain on the list of exempted ammunition.
The ATF said that the guide would be corrected to include the currently exempted armor piercing ammunition, and that the agency “apologizes for any confusion cause by this publishing error.”
However, as TheBlaze notes, it likely wasn’t a publishing error. In fact, last week, White House spokesman Josh Earnest defended the rule change, saying the administration is actively seeking ways to protect law enforcement from criminals.
“It would be fair to say, as we are looking at additional ways to protect our brave men and women in law enforcement, and believe that this process is valuable for that reason alone,” said Earnest. “This seems to be an area where everyone should agree that if there are armor-piercing bullets that fit into easily concealed weapons, that puts our law enforcement at considerably more risk.”
While the ATF is trying to walk back on their actions, it’s easy to see that America was able to push back hard enough that they had little choice but to reverse their decision. And while this is undoubtedly a victory for Americans, as well as the Second Amendment, I can’t help but wonder if it was a dry run of sorts for Obama to see how far he can push before we push back, especially after vowing to creatively use executive authority to enact gun control, and that idea alone is scary.