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More on the BATFE’s M855 Grab

If you haven’t heard about ATF’s proposal to remove SS109/M855’s exemption to being classified as armor piercing, then you probably haven’t been paying attention. Adam Kraut, Esq. of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group (a part of Prince Law Office), has dug up the original determination letter from 1986 where ATF found SS109/M855 to be “primarily intended for sporting purposes” and thus exempt from being classified as armor piercing ammunition [see 18 USC § 921(a)(17)(B)].

Says Kraut,

“There has been much discussion about this ‘letter' but no one has been able to produce a copy, until now. After a lot of searching and leads given to me by some friends in the industry I was able to obtain a copy of the original determination letter that ATF issued granting the exemption to SS109/M855.”

In the article Kraut breaks down the original letter and discusses the (il)logic of the BATFE's current activity. He explains in pretty simple terms exactly how they are wrong and perhaps more importantly what their argument will mean for other ammunition types in the future. We can't imagine anyone mounting an effective, logical argument against his explanation.

Now, will it accomplish anything? It's hard not to be cynical, especially given the appearance that they've already made their final decision (the ATF's 2014 Regulation Guide no longer has an exemption for “AR-15 green tip”, though apparently now they're saying this was a misprint or publishing error of some kind. That actually seems sort of illegal, doesn't it?

It sure seems like the ATF's so-called comment period was just for show.

Anyway, you can (and should) read the article (and the original determination) right here. You'll be able to read the original letter there.


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