Rutledge Urges ATF to Discard Controversial Ammo Proposal
March 17, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and 22 other state attorneys general have sent a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) urging the agency to permanently discard a proposed ban on M855 5.56 x 45mm ammunition. On March 10, ATF shelved the proposal after an outpouring of opposition, including from the law enforcement community, but the agency plans to continue to accept public comments on the proposal. Rutledge released the following statement:
“I am proud to join 22 of my colleagues from across the country to urge the ATF to drop any further consideration of this proposed ban on ammunition that only serves to target the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 semi-automatic. Many Arkansas sportsmen and target shooters use this type of bullet, and this is yet another attempt by the Obama Administration to do an end-run around Arkansas’s elected representatives in Congress.”
Following its latest decision to shelf the proposal, the ATF indicated it would continue to take public comment until the close of business on March 16. In the letter submitted to the ATF yesterday, Rutledge and the other attorneys general contend that the proposed ban is arbitrary, unnecessary and could easily lead to bans on a wide range of rifle ammunition.
“We applaud your recent decision not to issue a final framework on this proposal, at least for now, and we strongly encourage you not to revive it,” the attorneys general wrote. “We represent our respective states as each state’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, and in that role we directly oversee or work directly with numerous federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies. We, as much as anyone, want to do the utmost to ensure that our brave men and women that serve in law enforcement are safe. The proposed ATF ban on M855 5.56 ammunition, however, does not advance that goal. Instead, it threatens Second Amendment freedoms and deprives shooting sports enthusiasts of a popular cartridge for a popular rifle.”
The attorneys general highlighted the opposition to the ban voiced by law enforcement organizations.
“As law enforcement organizations, such as the Fraternal Order of Police, have recently described, the 5.56 M855 cartridge does not pose a particular threat to law enforcement. Indeed, we are aware of no examples in our states in which this round has been used against law enforcement in a concealed weapon.”
In closing, the 23 attorneys general urged ATF “to reject this ill-advised proposal and uphold the Second Amendment rights of our citizens.”
The letter was signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
A copy of the letter can be found here.