Contact ATF: Oppose 5.56 M855 Ball Ammunition Ban

5.56 mm 62 gr NATO Green Tip Ammo
5.56 mm 62 gr NATO Green Tip Ammo
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Shooting Sports Foundation

NEWTOWN, Conn –-( The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has announced it is seeking to ban commonplace 5.56 M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.

ATF is seeking public comment on the proposal, so all industry employees, target shooters and gun owners should contact ATF to oppose this unnecessary ban, which is truly a solution in search of a problem and that raises serious questions about executive agency attitude and overreach.

Stopped cold on Capitol Hill, this action appears to be the Obama administration’s attempt to pursue gun control by other means.

Commonly available steel-core, “green tip” M855 and SS109 rifle ammunition that is primarily intended and regularly used for “sporting purposes,” like target shooting, has been exempt from federal law banning armor piercing ammunition for decades. There is no question that the 5.56 ball ammo has been in wide use by law abiding American citizens for sporting purposes.

It is with the increasing prevalence of handgun versions of rifle platforms, that ATF now apparently sees an opening to now ban the widely used M855 and SS109 ammunition.

It would be legally permissible to continue to possess and use so-defined “armor piercing” ammunition currently possessed. However, rescinding the decades-old exemption will have a major impact. It will become illegal to manufacture, import, distribute or sell at retail this very popular rifle target ammunition.

ATF’s proposed “framework” for applying the “sporting purpose” exemption test rewrites the law passed by Congress to disregard the manufacturer’s intention that a projectile or cartridge is “primarily intended for a supporting purpose.

ATF inappropriately places the focus on how criminals might misuse sporting ammunition in a handgun.

Just as disturbing, language used by ATF in its long white paper refers to criminals as a “consumer group.” The implication that the industry purposely sells firearms and ammunition to criminals is misleading and echoes the shopworn charges of the gun control lobby.

Manufacturers will face serious limitations in their ability to develop and market alternative ammunition in other popular hunting rounds, such as .308 rifle hunting ammunition, if ATF’s so-called “framework is adopted. This will have a detrimental effect on hunting nationwide, especially in California where a total ban on traditional ammunition for hunting is being phased in now.

30-06 M2AP cartridges
.30-06 M2AP Ammo

ATF is soliciting comments on how it can best implement withdrawal of this exemption while “minimizing disruption to the ammunition and firearm industry and maximizing officer safety”. Under the proposed framework, 30-06 M2AP cartridges would continue to be exempt because there are no multi-shot handguns generally available that accept such ammunition.

The proposal is useless since standard lead-only 5.56 ammunition is “armor piercing” simply due to the round’s velocity. Rifles in this caliber, or any caliber for that matter, are rarely used in crimes.

ATF will accept comments on this proposal until March 16, 2015. Email or write ATF today and tell them you oppose this unnecessary, misguided and damaging ban on commonly used ammunition for America’s most popular sporting rifles.

Mail: Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments.

About NSSF The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 6,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to

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If we give up the very tools to ensure liberty we are truly ruined. This is the very ammo needed to defend against a tyrannical govt like the one we have now. If you give up one thing they will take another. The term ” Cop killer bullets ” is bullshit. All centerfire rifle rounds will blow through a level IIIA armor vest ,and guess what? They will kill anyone not just the cops! They are hoping this will fall on ignorant ears. The 2nd amendment has nothing to do with hunting or sporting purpose but everything to do with… Read more »

Sayeret Golani

The government is trying to ban firearms. They are now making ammo difficult to come by. This is a direct assault on the Second Amendment. Guns are useless without ammo. Ammo is useless without firearms.


They took my native American forefathers rights and the lying white eyes will take yours also. Time is on their side for now, but it does not need be. Prepare your self now, the new privatized socialism is coming.


As a former NRA, member, I completely support this proposed ban. Perhaps, some day, if they ever get rid of that s__t for brains Lapierre and recover their senses, I might rejoin. I laugh at all you rubes that fall for this sky is falling crap. BTW, be sure and run out today and buy until the shelves are bare! Take your kids lunch money and buy more bullets!


I’ll Bet the people in Germany wish they could have talked to you before Hitler took their guns away


I just heard it on the it is true whats next?…the gov is getting scared of the people i think and before overruning us they will need to cut down on our ability to aquire this type of ammo


its bothersome….the r waisting there time….we have so much ammo,,,,they don’t have a clue. but I want more. if this country needs defended, we can do it too !!!!!!!!!!!


I disagree obama and the anti gun – anti Second Amendment Rights groups are look for anyway to deny our rights.
If we let them ban this ammo which ammo will they go after next and for what reason.
Same thing with our Bill of Right if they take away the Second which one will be next the First, the Fourth, then may all of them. Hitler took away Jews guns then killed over 6 million


Could this be another “Anti” freedom attempt to create a “solution” to a non existing “problem”?


The ATF is simply following the law signed by Reagan in 1986. The remedy is to use a different bullet when manufacturing the cartridges. A no-brainer. I shoot the AR-15 and there’s all kinds of ammo available. I’ve been hearing these gun grab stories since Nixon threatened to ban hand guns. It’s just a way to get everyone keyed up so they’ll send more money to their gun association. No one is coming to take our guns or ammo.


Amazing. You must have your head so far up your ass you can’t see what is actually happening. Fool!

john Carr

I thought we are now under Republican control and all these bull crap laws won’t be allowed.They also said the first thing they would do was overturn Obummer care. So far the only thing that they have done is agree with Obummer and the Dumb-o-crats.

J P Gilligan

As with all “sensible gun control laws”, it’s just one more step in the eventual ban on private ownership of firearms. If we ban one kind of weapon because it’s too big and another because it’s too small and another because it holds too many rounds and yet another because it chambers a round that’s been banned, eventually we get to the point where only single shot .22 rifles are premitted. What exactly is “the sporting purposes test” in deciding which arms and ammo are allowed? The second amendment is not to protect your right to shoot pop bottles off… Read more »

P Wickman

JP, were you in the Navy, of the Coral Sea? First name James?


This proposal makes a lot of sense. Nobody needs to use armor-piercing ammunition to kill deer. It’s laughable that there is such an outcry over this. Armor-piercing ammunition is military stuff and has no lawful purpose in civilian hands. There are plenty of calibers that kill deer. Nobody needs military ammunition, military rifles, or other military weapons.


our government has been taking our rights away for years and trying to kill off the weak with gmo food and poison vaccines
the men of today are turning into a bunch of pussyies
they just let the government and everyone crap on them
i am sick of it
the police are not the police of the past they are military style police
if they get away with banning the SS109 / XM885 which one will be next
so JOHN BASTON you think it is ok to ban it
NEVER OK to have restrictions on a open market product

Dr Dave

First of all 556 is NOT by definition armor piercing secondly according to the same “framework” rules they are adding in 338 Lapua Magnum, 308, 30-06, 30-30, 300 Blackhawk Any of those ringing a bell for you that hunt deer? First they take an inch then they will take the whole yard period. BTW The Second Amendment does NOT assure you ammo it gives you the right to possess own carry firearms NO WHERE does it give you the right to possess own trade exchange ammunition. Dr D

Jim McGee

JohnBaston: Your ignorance is overwhelming!! This proposal has nothing to do with hunting and everything to do with personal defense and the average citizens right to arms as protected by the second amendment. The 2nd amendment is a guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms, not a right to hunt. Wake up! If you are content to stand by and let the government take more and more of our rights, then so be it. Hopefully others with your pacifist mentality are in the minority in our population. as they will be of little use when Uncle Obama and… Read more »


As a gun owner of over 60 years I think John Baston is the only one so far to be in control of himself and using common sense. I don’t think the FBI takes kindly to people suggesting sedition either.


Have you read the second amendment? Do you see anywhere were it talks about hunting? Are you ignorant? Can you read? Enough said……


JohnBaston, did you ever shoot anything in your life? I hog hunt with this “armor periceing 5.56 ammo”, hogs have a very thick skin in shoulder called butterfly, most factory light cal ammo will not penetrate think of a rhino, Now the real reason for the out cry against the ban is “Government” in our lives, if you want to be led around like a puppy you go for it, those of us against this ban will not lead so easily!! PS I am a retired Peace Officer , still believe in US constitution.


As the ammunition which the BATF now seeks to ban, fails to meet the BATF’s two criterion definitions, which do define Armor Piercing Ammunition, the BATF is not able to legally ban the M855 Ammunition, according to it’s own published criterion and definitions, of Armor Piercing Bullets, which the M855 Ammunition fails to meet! For the BATF to ban the M855 Ammunition as “Armor Piercing Bullets” would be contrary to the plain law of the United States of America!

Gregory Romeu

“Just as disturbing, language used by ATF in its long white paper refers to criminals as a “consumer group.” The implication that the industry purposely sells firearms and ammunition to criminals is misleading and echoes the shopworn charges of the gun control lobby.” Well? looks like the ATF got THIS statement back–asswords! It should read: “Just as disturbing, language used by ATF in its long white paper refers to criminals as a “consumer group.” The implication that the (ATF during tyranical and oppressive practices such as FAST AND FURIOUS in) the industry purposely sells firearms and ammunition to criminals is… Read more »


The ATF need to be hung from the trees side by side with the IRS. I wish people would Falluja or night of the long knives them. Good agents you say? “Just following orders” is NOT an excuse! NEVER AGAIN!


Its scary there trying to ban ammo that doesnt meet the definition in the law. Email write & call atf & your reps.


These are high crimes. The purpose of the second amendment has nothing to do with ” sporting purpose”! It has everything to do with defending against a tyrannical government. If your bullet will not penetrate what you are shooting at it nullifies the whole purpose of the 2nd amendment. When the king sent his men to take our powder, shot and guns they had muskets and we had muskets. If the people are not armed equally then again the 2nd amendment becomes useless.


Finally! Someone who doesn’t try to sugar coat the issue. We need our guns to protect ourselves from criminals, foreign invaders, and a tyrannical government. Everything else are just secondary uses. I’m tired of hearing groups that are supposedly standing up for our rights say we want our guns for hunting and sporting purposes. Yes we use them for that but the main reason for a majority of people is for protection. That’s the only way we can maintain our status as free men and women. We are citizens, not subjects.


We should all quit complaining and Lexington and Concord the tyrants. The solution to 1984 is 1776 !

joel R. Burney Jr.

To whom it may concern, I am writing to voice my strong opposition to the proposed change to current law that would make it illegal to manufacture, import or sell on the open market M855 / SS109 ammunition. The claimed purpose of this change is to “protect the lives and safety of law enforcement officers from the threat posed by ammunition capable of penetrating a protective vest when fired from a handgun”. As the Technical Branch well knows, all rifle ammunition of a common caliber such as .223 / 5.56 is capable of penetrating threat level IIA and IIIA body… Read more »


Gun owners need to stop letting the paid lobby groups handle these issues. These are our rights and we should all be defending our rights ourselves. Having an NRA, or NAGR membership is no longer enough everyone needs to start having a voice on issues like these. E-mail the ATF, E-mail your Reps in WDC letting them know what the BTAF is doing and why this is unacceptable. Let your friends, family hell everyone know what is going on here. Make sure your local gun shops have this info posted for their customers too see, if they are too busy… Read more »


So no to this chicanery…


we do not need anymore restrictions on our rights to own and use our guns and ammo. Please stop trampling on these rights

Dave Agnes

Please leave the honest God fearing gun owners of the US alone. Put some teeth in the laws that are in place and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, those that break the law.


DE FUND the ATF and that will put them out of business


Sample Letter for all to send FWIW…from other sites…. To whom it may concern, I am writing to voice my strong opposition to the proposed change to current law that would make it illegal to manufacture, import or sell on the open market M855 / SS109 ammunition. The claimed purpose of this change is to “protect the lives and safety of law enforcement officers from the threat posed by ammunition capable of penetrating a protective vest when fired from a handgun”. As the Technical Branch well knows, all rifle ammunition of a common caliber such as .223 / 5.56 is… Read more »


we the people do not like our rights infringed. do not ban 556 ammunition.


Thanks for posting this Brian.

William LeMaitre

Dear Sir or Madam
Obama using the ATF, a Federal Agency, To ban Ammunition is strictly Unconstitutional. Any Ban on Ammunition, size of Magazines, or any other product that impedes or restricts our right to Keep and Bears Arms violates our constitutional Second Amendment Rights as American Citizens..
William LeMaitre
[email protected]


Strikes me as a good framework for interested citizens to use. Of the remaining questions, some strike me as potentially quite interesting, the following stands out. How many “interested citizens”, otherwise known as gun owners will utilize it as a vehicle for commenting BEFORE the deadline, which is 16 March 2015. Whining after the advertized deadline, whatever we might think of it, not counting for much all.


WHY is the NRA ILA silent on this? All I got was “this is what BATFE is going to do”

and as others have mentioned, the parallels between Stalin, Hitler and Mao and the marxist in office are shocking.

… and way back I thought 1984 and Brave New World were pure fiction…

Sent an email at the above address – FWIW


Thank you for your response, the first link is to an article that my comment was about. The second interesting information. As a paid up member of NRA, including numerous donations in response to “emergency” fund raising. I would like to see more direct action to restore the rights of WE the people, that have previously been legislated away. Challenge all restrictions already imposed, including the “tax stamp” – under the NFA – the NFA needs to go as does the 1986 FA ban. The ATF or now BATFE should be concerned solely with criminal activity and leave us peaceful,… Read more »


Enough already with this taking away all of our rights. I guess if the “Socialist in Chief ” cannot have Congress do his bidding He wants to go around by any means. Even if it is illegal, Of course noone will push that subject.

Duane Taylor

This smacks of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler’s strategy to conquer a nation and strip all right and freedoms away. First take away guns and the ability of the people to defend themselves and take over all health care by government for final control of every aspect of life .. Wake up folks!!! This is where we are!!! Eroding 2nd amendment rights .. Obamacare ..

Moral Chaos

This has shades of Ted Kennedy written all over it when alive in years past he tried and tried to ban so called pistol “Cop Killer” ammunition, again stating the ability to penetrate body amor. I would like to know how many law enforcement officers are killed intentionally each year with body amor defeating ammunition. Unless you cover your entire body with Kevlar or ceramic plate material you will never be totally protected. I guess the ATF also has not thought of the 5.7mm pistol ammunition yet. I wonder how this action by the ATF would make the U.S. safer… Read more »


Let the atf know how you feel, tell them about all about it. The more that people stand up and speak out the more that we will get heard, If we say nothing then our rights WILL get trampled. The current administration is going to do everything it can to kill the right that we have left. They have already taken a couple of types of ammo away from us now they want this ammo gone from the line up. IF WE the people do not do something then we can say good by to all the hunting ammo that… Read more »


Prayer request

Please pray for me. It’s very painful to sit down. I have a very big government in my rear end.


You left out the Obama adminstration providing stinger missiles to Qatar which transferred them to the Taliban. A Chinook helicopter was downed by one of these missiles already. NY post wrote an article on it. The Democrats have been trying to hide it ever since.
Obana refuses to change laws he disagrees with , he would rather have his agents not enforce the laws as written.
How about we stop paying taxes since those laws suck. Property TAX = SERFDOM =SLAVERY . You own nothing , you rent from your government , no you are not free.


I totally agree about the taxes. Don’t pay your tax? Obama is fulfilling the NWO plan of a total dictatorship in this country. Hope and Change! Yes change (freedom is lost) and there is zero hope for the common man.


“However, we in the ATF have no problem with letting illegally purchased firearms leave the country in the hands of drug dealers….”


Another attempt to erode our Second Amendment rights. Be sure to send a letter to the ATF before its too late.


im sick of government F—ing with things i like , they need to get out of my life


I disagree with any more bans on ammo or guns..Every time we surrender the right to own any gun or ammo our rights are being taken away ..

Brent Ferris

I do not agree with banning any more ammo or guns…It is a attack on our freedoms ..