The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced less than an hour ago that it has decided to hit the brakes on its proposal to ban the commercial sale and importation of a popular type of AR-15 ammunition, M855 “green tip” rounds.
The news that the federal organization was backing off its new framework for determining whether certain projectiles were “armor piercing” came by way of the official ATF Twitter account.
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) March 10, 2015
The tweet linked to a press release from the bureau’s Public Affairs Division, which stated that the ATF had received more than 80,000 comments about its proposal since the plan was unveiled in late February. The “vast majority of the comments received” were critical of the framework, indicating perhaps that mass mobilization efforts on behalf of gun owners and gun rights groups had paid off. The release further stated that the “ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework.”
For the time being, it appears as if the popular 5.56x45mm M855 round isn’t going anywhere. However, the ATF stated that it plans to “further evaluate the issues raised” in its press release, indicating that additional proposals regarding so-called “armor piercing” ammunition may be in store.
At the height of panic-buying induced by the ATF’s proposal, M855 was selling for over a dollar per round—it typically retailed for thirty to forty cents per round prior to that.