Recently gun rights advocates have been hailing a victory over the ATF against the M855 ban. The 5.56 bullet was considered “armor piercing” as concluded by ATF run tests and experiments, therefor bringing it under the power of the ATF to pan such a round from public use and sale. The ban recently was tabled, and the ATF backed off its plan to continue limiting gun rights within the U.S. While this was a small victory there is a bigger, and darker picture to look at.
The ATF came very close to being successful, and only retreated after a massive uproar and huge political backlash. Had the ATF managed to become successful, they would have actually changed their own definition of an armor piercing round, creating a precedent for future actions. The ATF defines an armor piercing round as “containing a solid steel core capable of penetrating standard protective armor”. The M855 round however, contains a combination of a steel and soft lead core, differing from the previous definition. Lest we not realize how close those gun grabbers came to actually managing to rewrite their own laws and setting the stage for further restrictions on rounds.
Without continued over-watch on agencies such as the ATF these overreaches of power will continue to occur. It is only a matter of time before one of those “testing the water” is passed and precedent is set. Once the precedent is set there is no going back easily, it would be long drawn out court cases, and in the mean-time, more and more laws would be passed leading to not only restrictions but flat out confiscations on a nationwide scale. One day it is an armor piercing round, the next your .22 is considered too dangerous because it is depleting the rodent population of your home state. That may be an exaggeration but the idea is there, one small step for the ATF, leads to one giant leap by government kind.