Judicial Watch Sues ATF for Records of Attempted Reclassification of AR-15 Ammuniton

556 Ball Ammo Ban
556 Ball Ammo Ban
Judicial Watch
Judicial Watch

Washington DC-(Ammoland.com)- Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), a component of the Department of Justice, seeking records of communications related to a proposed reclassification that would effectively ban certain types of AR-15 ammunition as armor-piercing.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-00600)).

The ATF is reportedly reconsidering its February 2015 proposal to revise the 2014 Regulation Guide regarding the reclassification of certain ammunition.

In March 2015, more than 200 members of Congress wrote to former ATF director Todd Jones expressing their “serious concern” that the proposal might violate the Second Amendment by restricting ammunition that had been primarily used for “sporting purposes.” The letter asserts the ATF’s move “does not comport with the letter or spirit of the law and will interfere with Second Amendment rights by disrupting the market for ammunition that law abiding Americans use for sporting and other legitimate purposes.”

Letter from Congress to former ATF director Todd Jones

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the agency failed to respond to a March 9, 2015, FOIA request seeking information on the ammo ban effort:

  • All records of communications, including emails, to or from employees or officials of the ATF related to the decision to revise the ATF 2014 Regulation Guide to no longer exempt 5.56 mm. SS109 and M855 (i.e., “green tip” AR-15) ammunition from the definition of “armor-piercing” ammunition.

The precise statutory definition of “armor-piercing ammunition” can be found in 18 U.S.C §921(a)(17).

“This is yet another example of how Obama’s wanton use of the ‘pen and the phone’ attempted to undermine the constitutional rights of all Americans, as opposed to upholding the rule of law,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama ATF simply ignored our request on their ammo ban. Let’s hope the Trump administration finally brings transparency to this out-of-control agency.”

About Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation’s public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach.

For more information, visit: www.JudicialWatch.org.

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Mark J

The Previous administration wasn’t totally useless at least they served as a bad example.

Heed the Call_up

After they ban the green tip because it is “armor-piercing”, they will then have to ban most other rifle rounds for the same reason. I don’t recall that language in the 2A, I do recall reading, “shall not be infringed.” I’m not sure how that ban comports with shall not be infringed.


I wonder what they would think about my 30-06 Armor- Piercing incendiary rounds I have my for my Garand.

Wild Bill

@TJ, It is not good OPSEC to tell the world what capabilities that you have. If you would like to sell some, I will be at the Tyler Texas gun show, 29 April. I will be near the first entry door after the security check, from about 0930 to 1030. I will have a copy of a newspaper under my left arm.

Hayden the Patriot

The ATF is a bunch of corrupt idiots. I just saw a news article where they spent 21,000 dollars on a suite and a NASCAR race. They aren’t even doing their job and they’re using the absurd amounts of money they get from law abiding citizens to screw around.

Wild Bill

@Hayden, Yes, four good reasons (corrupt, idiotic, wasteful, non performing), to decommission that agency.


My God! Even if it is “armor piercing,” the ATF, which didn’t even exist all that long ago, should keep their nose out of it. The 2e was written to enshrine an already God-given right for people to fight back against any oppressive government that sought to take their God-given rights from them. Let’s see…our government (and most others) has jets, armored vehicles of many stripes, laser weapons, radar systems, drones, missiles, all sorts of small arms, etc., etc., and we are harassed because we have small arms only!!! Give me a freakin’ break!


Good points my friend! The US Gov’t is out of control. We have lil green tip ammo and they have tanks and bombs…wow, they should be very concerned NOT.


I completely agree, a well regulated Militia or U.S. Citizen doesn’t stand a chance with the weaponry we are ALLOWED to own. The right to bear arms at that time meant any arms, what’s the point in having the same corrupt government tell us what they allow us to possess?