The ATF Has Proposed Banning M855 Ammunition

February 26, 2015

As many people have already heard (thanks to groups such as the NRA widely circulating news about this), the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) has proposed a ban on the popular M855 rifle cartridge (often called "Green Tips" due to the green paint on the tip of the bullet) for firearms that are designed to shoot the popular .223 Remington/5.56x45mm NATO caliber bullet (such as AR-15 rifles, and many others). For those who want more information about the ban and why it has been imposed, but do not want to read the NRA's article, then here's a link to an article from Forbes about the proposed ammunition ban.

It is, of course, important to understand that this ban has merely been proposed, and that it has not been made an official regulation yet and will not be enforced until it makes the change from being proposed to actually becoming a regulation. It is also important to note that the change to the way M855 ammunition is being handled by the ATF is not an actual change in law, but simply a change in whether or not the ATF considers the M855 ammunition to be considered an "armor piercing" ammunition "which may be used in a handgun", which would make it illegal under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (as mentioned in the article from Forbes).

For the purposes of understanding what the Gun Control Act of 1968 does define as "armor piercing", here are the two criteria listed on the ATF website:

  • A projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium;
  • A full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

For those who don't already know, the .223/5.56 bullets are ".22 caliber", and thus the second criteria does not apply. Therefore, we have to establish whether the first one can apply. Forbes already discusses whether or not .223/5.56 ammunition can be used in a handgun, and while they do briefly mention whether or not the core of the bullet is made of the metals listed in the first criteria, I thought it might be a good idea to have a firearms expert show exactly what is inside the M855 "green tip" bullet. Here's a video from Jerry Miculek where, after 2 minutes and 30 seconds of satire (you can feel free to skip that part) he shows a few examples of bullets that have been cut in half so that you can see the inside, and explains what makes up the M855 bullet:


For those who are opposed to the proposed ban, the NRA has a form to contact your legislators and the ATF about it at this link.

Illinois Republicans Harass Libertarians With Guns

August 29, 2014

As someone who is pro-gun, and who had (until the 2012 elections) voted Republican all their life believing that Republicans supported freedom, the Constitution, and the right to be secure in your own home, I have found myself going through a strange period of change in the past few years. Slowly, I have been coming to the realization that the Republican party as a whole not only does not represent those of us who believe in freedom and adherence to our nation's Constitution, but that it is as guilty as the Democratic party for our declining freedom and our government's abuse of power and refusal to obey its own laws.

Of course, as many of you know, the Republican party has been suffering from a lack of new voters who are willing to support them, and their former support base has been abandoning them. The Republican party, not understanding that it is their refusal to support the pro-Liberty agenda that so many of us are demanding these days that has caused them to lose so much support, has sadly resorted to harassment and intimidation at gunpoint in an attempt to stop people from support third parties, such as the Libertarian party.

With that revelation, why is it not a surprise that it is happening in a state like Illinois?

As reported by the Illinois Herald:

August 22, 2014. Oak Park, IL. (ONN) Illinois Republicans went way too far in their desperate attempt to keep the Illinois Libertarian Party off the November ballot. Imagine your doorbell rings and two giant, threatening thugs with guns tell you you’ve committed a crime by signing the Libertarian Party’s ballot access petition. They then force you against your will to sign a document recanting your original petition signature. It happened across Illinois and it’s a Class 4 felony. Illinois Republicans may go to prison. And they may just lose what was going to be a landslide General Election over it.

...

As reported by Chicago's Sun-Times (link updated to point to cached version, since original article was taken down):

A couple of months after Julieus Hooks signed a political party’s nominating petitions, a man with a gun walked up to Hooks as he left his home in Oak Park.

The man said he was a private investigator. He told Hooks the petition that he had signed was fraudulent and asked him to sign something. Hooks hastily agreed to sign the paper.

“I did not have time to fully review this document because the man with the gun instructed me to sign it, and I was afraid of him and what he may do to me if I refused,” Hooks says.

...

The article from the Sun-Times is interesting to me. Had something like that happened to me, I would have had a .45 caliber handgun to defend myself with, however for so many people even in the United States they would have no way to ensure their own safety. To me this story is more evidence that all of us should learn more about firearms, and begin carrying them (openly or concealed) for personal defense. In this particular case, had the man being intimidated been armed, he would have at the very least been on equal footing with the man demanding he sign the affidavit, meaning the man could not have forced him to do anything.

Anyway, the Libertarians did win their fight to have their candidates on the ballot in Illinois, and it seems that all the Republican party ended up doing was get themselves some bad press and perhaps even some jail time for some of their people. Hopefully this translates into a major victory for the Libertarian party in Illinois in November, as the Republicans clearly don't deserve to be in charge of cleaning the latrine, let alone any aspect of governing a state.