BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gun owners are firing back at a new government proposal to ban specific bullets.
The Obama Administration is zeroing on ammo that can go through bulletproof vests. The idea is to protect police, but some sportsmen believe it is just another attempt by the government to clip their rights.
Kyle Ford knows his ammo. The 35-year-old hunter has been shooting since he was three. He said he has loaded and locked hundreds of firearms with every kind of bullet you can imagine. Ford has seen government bans on bullets come and go, but he is having a hard time understanding why the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms wants to restrict the .223 M855. The ammunition is typically marked with a "green tip."
"I wouldn't personally use it because green tip is normally an AP round, which is armored piercing rounds, and no animal that I shoot wears armor," Ford said.
The bullets, which can penetrate bulletproof vests worn by police, were approved for sale by the ATF in 1986. They were designed for use in rifles. Hunters said they mostly use them for target practice.
"Some people want them to say they have it. You tell a kid not to do something and they do it just because you told them not to do it," Ford said.
The ATF believes the bullets pose a greater risk to law enforcement because there are now handguns that can also fire the bullets and criminals may start using them.
"I think it's bull because a bullet is a bullet," Ford said.
Longtime firearms dealer Jim McClain said most gun shops do not carry the green tip ammunition.
He said it is mostly sold online, and the price is starting to show signs of panic since word of the proposed bullet ban began spreading.
"It's something that's mass produced. You're talking pennies. Now online a box used to sell for $10. Now it's $20 to $25 a box," McClain explained.
McClain said while his pockets will not be impacted, he and others against the ban are concerned the government is trying to muzzle gun owners' rights.
"What's to say they won't say a heavy grain bullet or full metal jacket bullet or copper-plated bullet can penetrate armor too," McClain said.
"Like the old saying goes, if you give them an inch they are going to take a mile," Ford said.
More than one hundred members of Congress have signed a letter opposing the ban.
The ATF is taking public comments on the regulation until March 16, 2015. Comments can be sent to APAComments@atf.gov.