Gun ammunition ban draws fire on Capitol Hill

Gun ammunition ban draws fire on Capitol Hill
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Second Amendment supporters in Congress are rallying against a controversial ammunition ban from the Obama administration.

Hundreds of lawmakers wrote to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Wednesday, urging it to “abandon” a proposed ban on a popular armor-piercing bullet commonly used in AR-15 rifles.

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The ATF’s proposed ban is intended to protect law enforcement officers from armor-piercing bullets and keep them out of harms way, but Republicans say the prohibition unfairly targets hunters, who sometimes use these guns.

“Under no circumstances should ATF adopt a standard that will ban ammunition that is overwhelmingly used by law-abiding Americans for legitimate purposes,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter to ATF Director B. Todd Jones.

The letter was signed by 239 House lawmakers, including Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteJuan Williams: The shame of Trump's enablers GOP bill would ban abortions when heartbeat is detected Overnight Regulation: GOP flexes power over consumer agency | Trump lets states expand drone use | Senate panel advances controversial EPA pick | House passes bill to curb 'sue-and-settle' regs MORE (R-Va.) and seven Democrats.

This follows the introduction last week of the Protecting Second Amendment Rights Act from Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) that would roll back the ATF’s power to regulate ammunition.

To date, this type of AR-15 ammunition has been exempt from the Law Enforcement Officers Act, because, Republicans say, it is used primarily for hunting. But the ATF is proposing to effectively remove the exemption for these bullets.

Republicans say the ammunition ban “will interfere with Second Amendment rights” of hunters.

There are more than five million AR-15s in use around the country, the letter states, but cutting off a popular source of ammunition for these rifles would render them less effective.

“The ATF should refocus its efforts on serious threats to law enforcement officers,” the lawmakers wrote. The agency “has not even alleged — much less offered evidence — that even one such round has ever been fired from a handgun at a police officer.”