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CRPA Submits Opposition To Proposed ATF Framework

March 27, 2015

CRPA Submits Opposition To Proposed ATF Framework Expanding Federal Prohibition On “Armor-Piercing” Ammunition To Protect California Hunters

You have no doubt heard about the proposal by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) to adopt a new “framework” for determining whether projectiles meet the “primarily intended for sporting purposes” exception to the federal government’s definition of “armor piercing ammunition.” Under the proposed framework, ATF tried to reinterpret the law in a way that would not only significantly expand the federal “armor piercing ammunition” transfer ban, but would also revoke an almost 30-year-old exemption from it for the popular M855 “green tip” 5.56mm cartridge, the second most popular ammunition for the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15.

This created a firestorm response from firearm owners nationwide. So much so that every news media outlet in the country talked about it, and even Congress and the White House chimed in. ATF received “more than 80,000 comments” from the public in only three weeks. Because “the vast majority of the comments received to date [were] critical of the framework …,” ATF decided that it “will not at this time seek to issue a final framework.”

CRPA members should know that CRPA submitted a comment letter to ATF on behalf of its members, explaining that the proposed framework would have a detrimental effect on the ability of Californians to legally hunt. Assembly Bill No. 711 was signed into law in 2013, banning any use of ammunition containing lead for hunting by the year 2019. This means that ammunition containing non-lead projectiles will be required to hunt in California. The problem is that such ammunition is already scarce and the industry has expressed doubts about being able to meet demand from California hunters. Under ATF’s proposed framework, as the letter explains, the availability of non-lead bullets needed for hunting in California would be further limited because many bullets made from alternative metals would be considered “armor piercing ammunition” that is no longer exempted from the restrictions thereon because they are usable in “AR-style pistols” and are therefore no longer “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.”

CRPA’s letter was prepared in coordination with the NRA, so as to not duplicate efforts and to have California-specific issues best represented. NRA submitted its own comprehensive letter, criticizing the ATF’s proposed framework in several respects, including failure to follow federal law in how it was proposed and how the “armor piercing ammunition” transfer ban was never intended to apply to ammunition popular with sporting rifles, even if the ammunition could be used in a pistol, which is often the case. Because NRA had the generally applicable problems with ATF’s proposed framework covered in its letter, CRPA was able to focus on defending California hunters.

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that CRPA and NRA work together to defend California gun owners, especially hunters. For years, CRPA and NRA have monitored the California Fish and Game Commission and taken actions when necessary to defend the interests of hunters, including submitting petitions and litigation demand letters.

Help Us Help You

Please help us fight for your right to choose to own a gun for sport, or to defend yourself and your family. CRPA and NRA work together in California to fight for you in Sacramento, in cities and counties across the state, in regulatory agencies, and in the courts. Even with the generous rates that our team of civil rights attorneys, legislative advocates, experts and consultants grant us, these ongoing efforts are still expensive. You can support our pro-Second Amendment efforts in California by donating to The California Rifle & Pistol Association Foundation (CRPAF). CRPAF is a 501(c)(3), so contributions to CRPAF are tax-deductible. Or donate to NRA Legal Action Project. All donations will be spent to specifically benefit California gun owners.

Second Amendment supporters should be careful about supporting litigation or other efforts promised by other individuals and groups that lack the experience, resources, skill, or legal talent to be successful. The NRA and CRPA national team of highly regarded civil rights attorneys, legislative advocates, and scholars has the experience, resources, skill and expertise needed to maximize the potential for victory in California’s often hostile political environments.

For a summary of some of the many actions the CRPA and NRA has taken on behalf of California gun owners, including the Peruta case, click here.

CRPA Submits Opposition To Proposed ATF Framework Expanding Federal Prohibition On “Armor-Piercing” Ammunition To Protect California Hunters

You have no doubt heard about the proposal by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) to adopt a new “framework” for determining whether projectiles meet the “primarily intended for sporting purposes” exception to the federal government’s definition of “armor piercing ammunition.” Under the proposed framework, ATF tried to reinterpret the law in a way that would not only significantly expand the federal “armor piercing ammunition” transfer ban, but would also revoke an almost 30-year-old exemption from it for the popular M855 “green tip” 5.56mm cartridge, the second most popular ammunition for the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15.

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