GOP Rep: ATF Can’t Prove an M855 Round Has Ever Been Fired at Police from a Handgun

AP Photo/Allen Breed
AP Photo/Allen Breed

Although the ATF is couching their pending ban of M855 ammo as an effort “to protect the lives and safety of law enforcement officers,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte (R-VA) says “the ATF has not even alleged,” much less shown, an actual incident where the round “has been fired from a handgun at a police officer.”

This is a crucial point: The ATF’s basis for banning the M855 round requires that it can be fired out of an AR-15 pistol. The agency is “reclassifying” the round as armor-piercing, then using a provision in the Gun Control Act of 1968 to ban the round because pistols exist from which it can be fired.

To make the ammo ban more palatable, the ATF claims it will be beneficial to officer safety. But Goodlatte is saying: not so fast.

According to The New York Times, Goodlatte sent a letter to ATF director B. Todd Jones, in which he wrote: “Millions upon millions of rounds M855 rounds have been sold and used in the U.S., yet the ATF has not even alleged, much less offered evidence, that even one such round has at been fired by a handgun at a police officer.”

Not one.

Goodlatte is urging the ATF reconsider the pending ban.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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