In a briefing with reporters on Monday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest defended the Obama administration’s support of a proposal to ban a common type of rifle ammunition. Last month the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) announced that it will be considering a ban on 5.56x45mm M855 ball ammunition, commonly called “green tips.” The ammunition is popular among recreational shooters and some hunters, and the ATF is seeking to reclassify M855 as “armor piercing” ammunition.

At the briefing, Earnest reiterated President Obama’s support for the BATFE proposal. He said that the administration is pursuing “common sense” gun control measures.

“It would be fair to say, as we are looking at additional ways to protect our brave men and women in law enforcement, and believe that this process is valuable for that reason alone,” Earnest told TheBlaze’s Fred Lucas during the briefing. “This seems to be an area where everyone should agree that if there are armor-piercing bullets that fit into easily concealed weapons, that puts our law enforcement at considerably more risk.”

Earnest added the ban fell under the “category of common sense steps the government can take to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, while also making sure that our law enforcement officers who are walking the beat every day can do their jobs just a little more safely.”

The news that a cheap and popular type of ammunition could soon disappear from the shelves did not sit well with gun owners. The National Rifle Association (NRA) opposes the ban, saying that it would not only reduce the availability of ammunition, but also set a dangerous precedent for further gun control actions.

“President Obama insisted that if Congress would not enact his gun control agenda, he would do so on his own, through executive action. Whatever else can be said of the president’s track record, he is doing his utmost to keep that promise,” The NRA stated last month. “Having failed to enact a federal ban on the AR-15, America’s most popular rifle, he’s now using the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to do the next best thing. BATFE is now proposing to ban a whole class of common rifle ammunition used in that overwhelmingly popular firearm.”

Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America said that the proposed ban is another way for the administration to reduce the popularity of AR-15 style rifles.

“So the proposed ATF ban on M855 ammo is simply an attempt by the Obama administration to make an end-run around the Congress,” Pratt told TheBlaze. “After all, if it can ban a common cartridge that is used for the AR-15 rifle, then it can substantially drive up the cost of using the firearm.”

To learn about how you can help protect M855, visit

The BATFE will accept public comments through March 16. You can watch press secretary Josh Earnest speak about the ammo ban below.

Image screenshot of video by The White House on YouTube

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25 thoughts on “Obama Administration Defends Proposed Ban on 5.56 “Green Tip” Ammo

  1. I find it incredible that congress will allow the BATFE to ban any rifle ammunition because they claim it will penetrate body armor when body armor doesn’t stop any rifle round period, armor piercing or otherwise. Also, per what I’ve read, this particular round (m855) doesn’t fully meet the specifications to be classified as ‘armor piercing’, so I find it doubly incredible that they can just arbitrarily ban a cartridge by labeling it something it clearly is not. Per this example, they can label run o’ the mill 22LR ‘armor piercing’ and ban it wholesale. They should not only be stopped in these egregious anti-2nd amendment attempts, but they should be held to rigid account.

    1. easily concealable weapons/pistols that shoot 556. you can barely conceal an AR magazine. Ridiculousness, classifying an AR pistol as a pistol doesn’t even make any since.

    2. Yeah, it is a test-bed to see what the public will swallow. If unchallenged, you can bet your last dime there will be many more “safety” bans coming.

      1. A concur. If this goes through it will give them a precedent they will utilize over and over to ban further items. This needs to be fought rigorously. I’ve already emailed my representatives in Congress to express my views on this issue.

  2. They’re missing the point, albeit intentionally, of the 2nd Amendment. The main purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to ensure our ability to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government. If, and when, they do come after our guns, you can bet they’ll be wearing body armor.

    1. And you can bet those in the raiding team won’t be wearing the typical Level II armor commonly worn by the average cop. Level III and IV armor will stop common rifle rounds.

  3. The government states that this cartridge can be used in concealed weapons. Being a rifle bullet, it seems an exaggeration to contend that a rifle is a “concealed weapon” and certainly not one of this caliber. Furthermore, if they are truly concerned about the welfare of security personnel, why aren’t they providing better body armor?

  4. The ability of government to piss in American citizens face and then proclaim benefits is just amazing….fuck these goons in suits taking our rights away for their own agenda. Everyone needs to contact their legislators and make sure they understand they will be held accountable for doing nothing to stop this.

  5. Is it true these so called pistol’s that fire 5.56 ammo are 20+ inches long. If true, that is hardly concealable. I have never seen such an administration full of yes men and women. This administration will go down in history as the worst. And not just for this issue. Everything they touch in the world turns to @#@#.

    1. buy some bulk chinese ammo! its cheap!

      oh wait……… they banned that already

      how about bulk military surplus from other countries, its cheap too!

      oh wait….they banned that already

      all they need to do now is slowly ban domestically produced ammo…….presto no more ammo for the masses

      1. O bummer got the Doe run lead mine just outside of Joplin , Mo closed by using the E PA and a claim of lead toxicity. It was the last operating lead mine in the USA. Now any lead we need, for any reason has to be bought from another country. So there’s their early steps at banning domestically produced ammo. Already in play. I know that lead is a toxin, but didn’t god himself put it in our ground? And I don’t plan to eat any. I surely trust God and not O’slumber.

  6. “common sense” gun control measures.”

    ie ban, restrict, and legislate as much as you can until there is nothing left

    1. I have grown to despise the smoke-screen buzzwords that Obama and his puppets use:
      “common sense”
      etc., etc.

  7. We need to get that Sarasin Bastard out of office and tried for Treason against the US before he sells us all out to Islam.

  8. Don’t allow this outrage to go down! Write the BATF, Now(deadline is 3/16). Don’t use foul language or insult them or Obama, no matter how much they deserve it. Offer a concise, factual, pointed argument that makes your case. Let’s flood them with the Correct view and carry the day.

    If they get away with this(it’s a test, for sure), soon they’ll find the excuse to Ban other types of ammo.
    “We have arbitrarily determined that all forms of expanding ammunition pose the threat of unacceptable damage. Therefore, from now on, hollow-points, soft-points, frangibles, etc. are banned.”
    Think it won’t happen? Look at NJ. They have banned possession & use of all expanding handgun ammo.

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