Michigan – -(Ammoland.com)-Q: What is Michigan law regarding armor piercing ammunition?
A: In general, it is prohibited.
MCL 750.224c states:
“(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person shall not manufacture, distribute, sell, or use armor piercing ammunition in this state. A person who willfully violates this section is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years, or by a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.
(2) This section does not apply to either of the following:
(a) A person who manufactures, distributes, sells, or uses armor piercing ammunition in this state, if that manufacture, distribution, sale, or use is not in violation of chapter 44 of title 18 of the United States Code.
(b) A licensed dealer who sells or distributes armor piercing ammunition in violation of this section if the licensed dealer is subject to license revocation under chapter 44 of title 18 of the United States Code for that sale or distribution.
(3) As used in this section:
(a) “Armor piercing ammunition” means a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a pistol and which is constructed entirely, excluding the presence of traces of other substances, of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, or beryllium copper. Armor piercing ammunition does not include any of the following:
(i) Shotgun shot that is required by federal law or by a law of this state to be used for hunting purposes.
(ii) A frangible projectile designed for target shooting.
(iii) A projectile that the director of the department of state police finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.
(iv) A projectile or projectile core that the director of the department of state police finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes.
(b) “Licensed dealer” means a person licensed under chapter 44 of title 18 of the United States Code to deal in firearms or ammunition.
(4) The director of the department of state police shall exempt a projectile or projectile core under subsection (3)(a)(iii) or (iv) if that projectile or projectile core is exempted under chapter 44 of title 18 of the United States Code. The director of state police shall exempt a projectile or projectile core under subsection (3)(a)(iii) or (iv) only by a rule promulgated in compliance with the administrative procedures act of 1969, Act No. 306 of the Public Acts of 1969, being sections 24.201 to 24.328 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.”
Note that 5.56 “green tip” ammo, which does have a small, steel “penetrator” in the core, is not considered “armor piercing” by the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) since it does not have a core that is made “entirely” of a prohibited material. The Michigan statute incorporates the federal statute by reference, as shown above. The SS109/M855 “green tip” ammunition is properly referred to as an “enhanced penetration” round rather than as an “armor piercing” round.
Steve Dulan (www.StevenWDulan.com) is a member of the Board of Directors of the MCRGO and the MCRGO Foundation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the MCRGO Foundation. He is an attorney in private practice in East Lansing and Adjunct Professor of firearms law at The Thomas M. Cooley Law School. as well as an Endowment Member of the NRA.
The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Formed from just eight people in 1996, we now have thousands of members and numerous affiliated clubs across the state. We're growing larger and more effective every day.
Our mission statement is: “Promoting safe use and ownership of firearms through education, litigation, and legislation” Visit: www.mcrgo.org