WASHINGTON — A gun rights organization is funding a last-ditch push to pressure the Obama administration to abandon a proposed ban on armor-piercing bullets.
The Second Amendment Foundation, which typically focuses on legal efforts to protect gun rights, is taking aim at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ proposal to ban popular “green tip” steel core bullets with a $700,000 nationwide radio and TV ad campaign. The group’s one-minute ad will air on conservative outlets like Fox News and The Blaze urging Americans to petition President Barack Obama to kill the proposal just one week before the comment period ends.
Gun rights groups are painting the ATF’s suggested ban as another executive overstep by Obama, this time aimed at stripping gun owners of ammunition typically used in the AR-15 assault rifle.
The new ban was proposed by the ATF and there’s no evidence it was initiated by the White House or the president in the same way Obama used his executive power to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.
The ammunition was exempted from the 1986 Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act, which banned armor-piercing bullets that could be used in handguns but not those used in rifles, which were seen as intended for sporting purposes. New handguns, though, can accommodate those same armor-piercing bullets exempted in the 1986 law and the ATF is concerned the bullets now put police officers at risk.
But the Second Amendment Foundation charged that the ATF is tackling a nonexistent problem.
“This appears to be a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist,” said David Workman, the group’s communications director. “I can’t find — nor can anybody else find — any evidence that any of these bullets has ever been fired from a handgun that’s harmed a police officer.”
Instead, gun rights groups are taking the ammo ban as a “backdoor attempt” to clamp down on assault rifles, after gun control advocates failed to ban assault rifles.
Other types of ammunition that can’t pierce body armor would still be available for the AR-15 assault rifle under the new regulation.
“It’s not the need for the ammunition,” Workman said. “Why does anybody need to ban it? That’s the real question.”