BATFE is accepting public comment until March 17 on its proposal to ban .223 M855 “green tip” ammunition. The Obama administration backs the effort, arguing that it is needed because the bullets can pierce bullet-proof vests worn by police.
“This seems to be an area where everyone should agree that if there are armor-piercing bullets available that can fit into easily concealed weapons, that it puts our law enforcement at considerably more risk,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said this week.
BATFE and the White House claim that the bullets, which the agency approved in 1986, will be used in more handguns, which are increasingly being manufactured to be able to hold the ammunition.
Here's my money and mouth:
7 March 2015
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to express my opinion about the current consideration of banning the green tip SS109 as armor piercing handgun ammunition.
The SS109 has, due to its heavier weight as compared to the FMJ .55 gr bullet, become popular with long distance rifle shooters and plinkers. Several years ago I shot a rifle match at the National Guard base, Camp Perry, Ohio, involving distances from 20 yards to 500 yards. Many of the shooters were shooting the green tipped SS109 from an AR platform.
The SS109 is currently being replaced by the more effective .77 gr MK262 bullet, and is currently ubiquitous and inexpensive, allowing more shooters to participate in rifle competition. I suspect availability of SS109 will be self-limiting as production overruns and surpluses run out.
I still shoot the SS109 at targets at 200 yards for fun with other rifle shooters. There are few shooting activities as much fun as seeing how many times you can make steel plates at 100 to 200 yards dance and ring out with each hit.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) pertains to pistol caliber ammunition. The SS109, the .223 Rem and 5.56X45 are rifle ammunition. The presence of the so called AR pistol doesn’t change the true nature of this cartridge. No soft body armor is sufficient to resist any centerfire rifle cartridge. Several years ago I saw a demonstration of a pistol which would fire a full power .50 caliber BMG. The pistol was a massive single shot device with shock absorbers and rails to allow the chamber and barrel to move backwards from the tremendous recoil.
Your logic would indicate that .50 BMG should be considered a pistol caliber because there is a handgun which can fire it. I believe this is invalid reasoning.
Enforcement would, in my opinion, be very difficult. The chief identification characteristic is the green inked tip which could be removed with a simple wipe with a rag and a little solvent. Enforcement of this ban would use resources better spent on stemming the flow of drugs into the United States and combating terrorism.
I suspect very few, if any, police officers will be shot with AR pistols loaded with SS109. The guns are expensive, hard to conceal and difficult to use. The current laws governing illegal class 3 weapons are sufficient to deal with anyone caught using it as a short barreled rifle.
Thank you for your consideration.