Just a month after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced a possible ban on types of ammunition used for AR-15 rifles and, subsequently, removed their proposal following opposition, a North Carolina congressman proposed legislation that could prevent future ammo bans from taking place.

North Carolina Congressman Patrick McHenry introduced the Ammunition and Firearms Protection Act (H.R. 1365). The Act would prevent the ATF from imposing “any ban on the sale and manufacture of ammunition that is intended, marketed, and sold for rifle use.” The legislation also includes provisions that would block the classification of M855 ammunition as ‘armor-piercing.’ (Armor-piercing ammunition has been banned since 1986 to protect law enforcement officials, but the aforementioned ammo types are generally used for sporting purposes and are exempt.)

The ATF’s rescinded ammo ban proposal—which prompted the introduction of the Ammunition and Firearms Protection Act—included bans of ‘M855 green tip’ or SS109 rounds that contain steel, metal, or brass composites in the core. Under the ATF’s proposed provisions, individuals in possession of the respective ammunition would have been permitted to keep the items, but the authority of manufacturers to distribute, produce, sell and import would have been removed.

The effect of such a sizable ban would not only alter personal sporting rifle use, but impact a significant sector of the ammo manufacturing industry. Congressman McHenry’s proposed legislation would prevent such bans from occurring.

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