Collaboration in Civic Spheres

ATF Probes Easing Ban On Armor-Piercing Handgun Bullets

by Matt Rosenberg December 20th, 2012

The Sunlight Foundation reports that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is seeking public comment until December 31 on the possibility of loosening regulations stemming from a 1986 federal amendment which restricts the use of armor-piercing bullets in handguns. Body armor such as bullet-proof vests is typically worn by law enforcement personnel. The current law allows an exemption to the ban if the U.S. Attorney General finds the use of particular armor-piercing bullets in a handgun is “primarily intended” for recreational purposes.

The issue had arisen prior to the December 14 mass murder in Newtown, Connecticut, which has propelled a new and urgent national dialog about gun control, semi-automatic weapons, and mental illness. At issue here is that as the firepower of handguns has increased, more are now able to use such ammunition, which is already legally used in rifles if deemed for sport shooting.

An alert to members from the National Rifle Association advances arguments in favor of firming up the “sporting purposes” exemption, to allow for use of “rifle-caliber projectiles made of metals harder than lead” in high-caliber handguns.

The request for comment was published on ATF’s website. An ATF backgrounder found there explains the issue has actually been under review since at least August, 2011. ATF has been holding meetings with law enforcement groups, gun owners and others on the potential exemption.

From www.atf.gov/firearms/industry - 12/20/12

RELATED: Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group


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One Response to “ATF Probes Easing Ban On Armor-Piercing Handgun Bullets”

  1. To Whom It May Concern,

    It has come to my attention that the BATFE is considering further restrictions for various types of ammunition used in both rifles and handguns as thet pertain to the Federal Gun Act of 1968. I am personally concerned that further restrictions on commonly used ammunition would represent a serious breach of the intended scope of the original limitations set forth under the laws created in the gun control act.

    As BATFE documents note: “…in developing a narrow sporting purposes test, ammunation in traditional hunting calibers will become regulated.” Regulated? It would be effectively be banned. I will not stand idly by while bureaucrats try to ban rifle ammunition, including steel core ammunation, simply because a handgun happens to be chambered for that caliber-as such handguns have been for many decades.
    Resectfully, Ronald Allsbury