Dems Pick Up Where ATF Backed Down, Introduce Handgun Ammo Ban

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

After a week of various Democrats expressing their disbelief that the ATF stopped pursuing a ban on the M855 round for AR-15 rifles, Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) is putting forth a broader ban intended to cover all centerfire “armor piercing” ammunition for any “concealable handgun.”

The problem faced by the ATF in their failed ban was that their “framework” for determining/defining “armor piercing” was ambiguous. So Israel is pro-actively setting his “framework” in such a way that the threshold for “armor piercing” is both low and non-ambiguous.

According to The Hill, Israel wants an all-out ban on ammunition that “can shoot through even the weakest body armor won by police.” So we aren’t talking about ammunition that can piece hard plates but ammo that can pierce soft armor.

Israel assured Americans: “We’re not banning other bullets, we’re not banning guns, we’re not banning the Second Amendment.” What he did not say is that almost any rifle round above a M855 for a .223 will pierce soft armor–so, in effect, he is banning every centerfire rifle bullet that can also be fired out of a handgun.

“An armor-piercing bullet in a concealable handgun is not for sport,” said Israel, “unless the sport is shooting cops.”

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


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.