Gun control groups keep distance from bullet-ban attempt
Gun control groups are distancing themselves from a failed attempt by the Obama administration to ban certain types of armor-piercing ammunition commonly used in AR-15 hunting rifles.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Tuesday it is putting the proposed bullet ban on hold amid mounting criticism from Republicans and the gun lobby.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) claimed the bullet ban was a "backdoor" attempt to restrict AR-15 rifles and accused the administration of "pandering to billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his gun control groups."
"Since they haven't been able to ban America's most popular rifle, they are trying to ban the ammunition instead," NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox said.
But prominent gun control groups linked to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg deny having any hand in pushing for the bullet ban.
The NRA's claims are simply not true, said Erika Soto Lamb, spokeswoman for Bloomberg's group Everytown for Gun Safety.
"We have sent dozens of recommendations to the administration on what they can do to prevent gun violence — this ammo proposal has never been one of them," Lamb told The Hill.
Meanwhile, the gun safety group linked to Giffords, Americans for Responsible Solutions, also said it is not interested in any such bullet ban.
"We are focused on keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people and protecting the rights of responsible, law-abiding gun owners, not banning bullets or other forms of hardware," spokesman Mark Prentice told The Hill.