The White House has come out swinging against criticisms of its proposed ban of a certain type of bullet, saying the measure is needed in order to keep police safe.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is mulling a ban on M855 ball ammunition, a type that’s popular among AR-15 enthusiasts and sporting types – especially among big game hunters, who like the powerful “armor-piercing” capability of the shot, the Blaze reported.
Josh Earnest, White House press secretary, said during a press conference that the proposed ban was simply “common sense” and would keep police officers safer.
“It would be fair to say, as we are looking at additional ways to protect our brave men and women in law enforcement, [we] believe that this process is valuable for that reason alone,” he said to the Blaze. “This seems to be an area where everyone should agree that if there are armor-piercing bullets that fit into easily concealed weapons, that puts our law enforcement at considerably more risk.”
He then went on, suggesting even Second Amendment activists should be able to see the sensibility of the ban.
“So I put this in the category of common-sense steps the government can take to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, while also making sure that our law enforcement officers who are walking the beat every day can do their jobs just a little more safely,” he said.
The proposal is now open for public comment.
But gun-rights groups and individuals with concerns about the fate of the Second Amendment are already gearing to fight it.
Jack Cashill, a noted conservative author and political writer, said in an interview with WND: “I would say that any notion that the White House is interested in saving police lives is undone by what we’ve seen in Ferguson, what we’ve seen in New York City, where with the sort of tacit encouragement of the White House, crazies all over America feel empowered to kill police. And the White House has done nothing to quiet them or to set the record straight. In fact, they’ve done just the opposite. They have gone out of their way to further the portrait of police as the enemies of black people everywhere.”
Cashill also raised an interesting point, in response to Earnest’s claim that the bullet ban was aimed at saving police lives.
“How many cops have been killed by these bullets? Are there any documented cases of a cop being killed by one of these bullets? I don’t know of it,” he told WND. “There’s not that many cops that are shot to begin with and those that are, are usually shot by people who are not very sophisticated in [their] use of weapons.”
The National Rifle Association joined with U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to send a letter to ATF director B. Todd Jones, slamming the proposed rule and saying it “does not comport with the letter or spirit of the law, and will interfere with Second Amendment rights,” the Blaze reported.
And Erich Pratt, with Gun Owners of America, said the agency-driven proposal was simply a way for the executive to bypass Congress, where the rule would have failed.
“In 2013, the administration lobbied hard to get Congress to ban AF-15s and other similar semi-automatic rifles,” he said, according to the Blaze. “But even in a Democrat-controlled Senate, anti-gunners could only muster 40 votes, a clear minority. “So the proposed ATF ban on M855 ammo is simply an attempt by the Obama administration to make an end-run around the Congress. After all, if it can ban a common cartridge that is used for the AR-15 rifle, then it can substantially drive up the cost of using the firearm.”
The rule would only impact the “M855 green tip” or “SS108” rounds with specific types of metal cores, the Associated Press reported. Under the proposal, those who already own the ammo can keep it. But manufacturers would have to stop producing, selling, importing or distributing it.