Dem Rep: AR-15 Ammo Ban Justified by Gun-Related Law Enforcement Deaths

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) has sent a letter to acting ATF director Thomas Brandon contending that a broad look at all firearm-related law enforcement deaths justifies the issuance of an AR-15 ammunition ban.

Without citing caliber or type of firearm used, Israel cited “50 law enforcement” deaths in 2014 as a reason for reviving the M855 ammo ban.

Israel did not point to one single case where M855 ammo was used in an officer’s death, nor did he counter House Judiciary Committee chairman Robert Goodlatte’s (R-VA-6th Dist.) claim that, “Millions upon millions of 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 ever been fired from a handgun at a police officer.”

Instead, The Hill reports that Israel took up the same arguments that were made against the M855 round months ago.

He said it is dangerous not simply because it can be used in AR-15 rifles, but also “in more easily concealed handguns.” He said the ATF needs to move quickly to come up with a “new framework” that allows them to “keep up with new and rapidly developing firearm technology” and to impose “restrictions on armor-piercing technology.”

The ATF dropped their pursuit of a M855 ammo ban on March 10, amid public outrage and Congressional opposition to the proposed action. Israel responded to the ATF’s announcement by making clear he was disenchanted with the way the ban had been pursued and that he was eager for a new ATF director to take the lead on future action.

Israel said, “This was sloppily handled and as a result the outcome was surprising, disappointing and even confusing. I hope under the new leadership the ATF can have a more transparent and responsive process.”

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


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