As the deadline to submit comments to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) regarding a potential ban on a popular type of AR-15 ammo approaches, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police has stated that the M855 “green tip” round has not been a threat to law enforcement.

Speaking with the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard, the Fraternal Order of Police’s James Pasco said that “Any ammunition is of concern to police in the wrong hands, but this specific round has historically not posed a law enforcement problem,” continuing that M855 “is not typically used against law enforcement.”

Though Pasco also told Bedard that he was “not finding fault” with the proposal, his statement appears to be at odds with both the BATFE and the Obama administration’s justification for the ban. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest previously said the BATFE’s move was something that would enhance the safety of the nation’s law enforcement officers.

“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 said. “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.”

Advocates of the ban claim that M855 ammunition is “armor piercing,” while detractors point out that practically any modern centerfire rifle cartridge is capable of penetrating soft armor. The National Rifle Association (NRA) dubbed the proposed regulatory changes by the BATFE a backdoor method of gun control that would only serve to reduce the availability of AR-15 ammo.

The BATFE is continuing to accept accept public comments through March 16. To help protect M855 and keep the shooting sports affordable, visit

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3 thoughts on “Green Tip Ban: Police Rep Says Popular AR-15 Ammo Not a Threat to Law Enforcement

  1. Nearly any full metal jacket, center-fire rifle ammo will penetrate so-called “soft armour”. If this thing gets through it will open up the possiblity of all military surplus rounds being defined as “armour piercing. These rounds have been the ammo of choice by plinkers and informal target shooters since the begining of time. It is disingenuous to redefine “armour” to be weaker so as to reclassify nearly all rounds as “armour piercing”. Might as well define a heavy canvass jacket that will stop birdshot at 50 yards as “armour”, then ban all ammo and larger shot as “armour piercing” BATF needs to give their heads a shake on this one.

  2. I think the real concern is BATFE’s contention that the 5.56 is handgun ammunition. If it is, then any 5.56 would be considered armor piercing. I agree that we need to do all that we can to protect our law enforcement officers. It is a tough job, and all we ever hear about are the negative aspects. When was the last time you saw a headline that says “Police save the life of a young man”? But this proposed ban? The BATFE has not presented a single case of where a police officer was shot through their body armor with a green tip fired from a handgun. Hard to see this as anything but political.

    1. Part of the reason it seems silly is because they have to work within the framework of the NFA law, which is drafted in a somewhat silly way. Armor piercing (AP) ammunition for a rifle is completely legal. The NFA strictly controls AP ammo only for handguns. So that is why the “handgun” issue is involved. As well, it has a strict definition for AP, that would exclude any normal lead core bullet with or without a copper jacket. Also, solid copper bullets are not AP, as long as they are not “brass”. So it has to be pure copper. Expanding bullets, i.e. hollow points, are never considered AP either.

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