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New Bill Targets ATF’s Banning of Ammo Via Reclassification

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Published on: June 2, 2017

A new bill was introduced last week that would prohibit the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) from reclassifying ammunition in order to ban it.

Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, introduced The Lawful Purpose and Self-Defense Act, which would eliminate the ATF’s discretion of classifying certain ammunition as “armor piercing” and then banning it.

According to Guns in the News:

H.R. 2620 would put a stop to this for good and accomplish the following essential reforms to federal firearms laws:

Eliminate ATF’s authority to reclassify popular rifle ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The federal law governing armor piercing ammunition was passed by Congress to target handgun projectiles, but Obama’s ATF used the law to ban common and popular rifle ammunition, including targeting M855/SS109 5.56×45 ammunition in 2015.

Provide for the lawful importation of any non-NFA firearm or ammunition that may otherwise be lawfully possessed and sold within the United States. Over the years ATF has used the current discretionary “sporting purposes” standard to deny the importation of firearms that would be perfectly legal to manufacture, sell, and possess in the United States.

Protect shotguns, shotgun shells, and certain rifles from arbitrary classification as “destructive devices.” Classification as a destructive device subjects a firearm to the registration and taxation provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA) and creates a ban on possession of such firearms in some states.

Broaden the temporary interstate transfer provision to allow temporary transfers for all lawful purposes rather than just for “sporting purposes.”

“The Founding Fathers were clear when they drafted the Bill of Rights,” Rep. Bishop said in a statement. “The 2nd Amendment is about security and self-defense. Vagaries in today’s legal code pose a real threat to the right to keep and bear arms. The Obama administration exploited this ambiguity to forward its agenda of restriction. It’s time to ensure no future administration tramples on these freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution.”

Bishop pointed to the ATF’s attempt to reclassify the M855 “green tip” 5.56 ammunition as “armor piercing” during the Obama administration, even though it failed to actually fall under what is required to be armor piercing.  The plan was thwarted as Americans stood up in droves to the proposal.

In April of this year, Judicial Watch filed suit against the ATF for records related to the bureau reportedly reconsidering reclassification of ammunition as “armor piercing.”  They want to know why they were attempting to do it.

The National Rifle Association has voiced its support for Bishop’s bill.

“On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, I would like to thank Chairman Rob Bishop for introducing this critical legislation,” Chris Cox, head of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told the Washington Free Beacon. “It sends a clear message that Congress will no longer allow federal bureaucrats to infringe on our Second Amendment right to self-protection.”

The thing is there should not be an ATF under our Constitution.  Since arms are not to be restricted and the right to keep them and bear them (open or concealed) is a right not to be infringed on, then there is no reason to have an agency that is known for its corruption that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people in Operation Fast and Furious.

Rep. Bishop seems to understand that.   However, I would like to see something Constitutional proposed such as the elimination of the ATF.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of each American to keep and bear arms,” Rep. Bishop has stated on his website.  “It states that this right shall not be infringed.”

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