“Just the Tip…” Why You Should Be Concerned About BATFE’s Attack on M855
It’s Valentines day and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is up to their old tricks with a proposal to ban the Green Tip Penetrator, commonly available M855 (steel core) ammunition, on the basis that it “has no sporting purpose,” and it “might” be armor piercing, despite previous rulings that the steel core of the M855 did not constitute an armor piercing round.
We need to remember though, the BATFE has a fetish for the “reversed position.” Remember the Akins Accelerator in 2006? pistol grip shotguns in 2010? the Sig Brace? 7N6? and how about that form 1 machine gun that was recently approved for a trust, then immediately disapproved?
These are very important decisions. The BATFE apparently doesn’t like any shades of grey, and they are going for black and white administrative interpretations of the applicability of existing laws, in essence creating their own new and enforceable laws. These interpretations aren’t based on the physical characteristics of the regulated items, but on their potential applications. In other words, 7N6 “might” be used in a pistol, and “might” be used to penetrate a law enforcement officer’s body armor, therefore they banned its future importation. A Sig Arm-brace “might” facilitate an end-user firing their AR-15 pistol from a shouldered position, therefore equipping an AR-15 pistol with a Sig Arm Brace “might” lead to you being charged with a violation of The National Firearms Act, (which consequently “might” lead to having your house burned down, family and pets massacred, etc…).
In this case, it seems the BATFE wants to have their cake and eat it too. Even though M855 ammunition was primarily designed for military use, does its use in legitimate recreational firearms practice not constitute a “redesign?” If not, why does the act of shouldering a pistol equipped with a Sig Arm Brace constitute a “redesign?” In the broadest sense, this new interpretation could effect all .223, and could even be interpreted as all .22 caliber ammunition.
“…The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed.”
The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld that the Second Amendment to the Constitution affirms an individual right, not a collective right of The State, merely to establish a National Guard force. This determination has been made by exegesis, or a critical explanation or interpretation of text to derive the original intent of the authors. That fact makes recent moves, hell… all moves, by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives particularly troubling.
If I may refer to my earlier article on “Arms and Social Stratification:”
…In 1934 the National Firearms Act prohibited “sawed off shotguns” and other types of weapons on the lying argument that they were not standard military weapons, therefore didn’t serve the state because they were unsuitable for use as a militia weapon. In 1968, however, the Gun Control Act declared that all imported firearms must be “generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes...” as interpreted by the BATFE. Now there’s the fox guarding the henhouse, but there it is… in 1934 they decided you couldn’t have weapons that were of no use to the state, then in 1968 you couldn’t have “weapons,” because you didn’t serve the state, so you could only have guns that served a “sporting purpose.”
The Second Amendment never did and still doesn’t have anything to do with hunting or sport shooting, this was at least acknowledged in 1934, but in 1968, this act officially declared that we are all serfs, not worthy to possess anything that’s a dedicated “Weapon.” No swords, only plowshares.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines “Arms” specifically as “weapons.” Nowhere in the definition of “arms” does it infer that this term applies to “sporting goods.” The word “arms” comes from the Middle English word “armes” or “weapons,” which is where we derive words such as: army and armor. Which begs the question: since there is a Supreme Court affirmed right to keep and bear “ARMS,” why must there be a requirement that they meet a “sporting purpose?”
So, today it’s just the tip, but where does it end? When unelected, politically motivated bureaucrats can arbitrarily and capriciously implement and enforce new laws “at will,” simply by re-interpreting existing laws in their favor, where does it stop? They are claiming the divine right of kings.