Gun Nuts Freak Out Over False “Obama Ammo Ban”

5.56 green tip rounds that would be reclassified by the ATF under a new proposal. Image via armslist.com

5.56 green tip rounds that would be reclassified by the ATF under a new proposal.
Image via armslist.com

Let me start this article with the usual disclaimer that there are gun owners, and then there are gun nuts. I am a gun owner (even though I take flak for it from some folks on the left) and I believe in the right of private citizens who aren’t felons or mentally ill to own firearms for hunting or home defense. Gun owners realize that with the ownership of a firearm, certain responsibilities and limitations come with the right, and they don’t fantasize about shooting people they’re politically opposed to. Gun owners also don’t take to social media to suggest hanging lawmakers who don’t agree with them, attempt to silence opponents via mass intimidation, or threaten to kill a critic’s child and toss them in a blender. Yes, that actually happened, and that’s sadly what many gun nuts do.


Still don’t believe me? Yesterday, a local TV station in Baton Rouge (WAFB) reported on a government proposal to ban a specific style of 5.56/.223 ammunition which can pierce body armor worn by law enforcement officers. Needless to say, the gun nuts lost their minds over this and claimed it was another attempt by President Obama to create an “ammo ban” and take their guns. Here are a couple of screenshots from the comments section over at WAFB (click to enlarge).

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First off, you have people who believe “marshell” law is coming and they need armor-piercing rounds to do what exactly? Other commenters suggested “working on our head shots” which indicates shooting members of law enforcement or the military in the head to get around body armor. These are the same folks who responded to the recent #BlackLivesMatter hashtag with #BlueLivesMatter and praised the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. They talk about supporting law enforcement and the military all the time, but are also prepared to gun them down in a martial law scenario? Granted, not everyone there subscribed to this mindset, but more than a couple did – and didn’t mind openly claiming it.

Other people claimed disingenuously that all rifle rounds go through soft body armor and that this was an attempt to ban a popular round for nefarious political purposes. That’s actually false since some rifle rounds have the same velocity as handgun rounds and not all rifle rounds are as fast as a .223 which moves at over 3,000 fps (feet per second), a speed higher than a .308 – or the 7.62x39mm round which is what is used in an AK-47.


Conservative clickbait sites, in an attempt to grab traffic from gun nuts, portrayed this as an “ammo ban” designed by President Obama to disarm conservative gun owners. A columnist over at Townhall.com wrote:

“The bottom line: This is a backdoor attempt by the Obama administration to make AR-15 sporting rifles, which the President and gun control zealots in Congress have tried to ban for a decade, inoperable. Guns are no good without ammunition and you can bet the Obama administration is fully aware of that fact” (Source)

This is completely untrue, and as Snopes.com points out, these specific rounds would be reclassified because at the time they were originally exempted in 1986, AR pistols were not on the market:

Applying the sporting purposes framework set-forth above, the 5.56mm projectile that ATF exempted in 1986 does not qualify for an exemption because that projectile when loaded into SS109 and M855 cartridges may be used in a handgun other than a single-shot handgun. Specifically, 5.56mm projectiles loaded into the SS109 and M855 cartridges are commonly used Framework for Deciding Sporting Purpose Ammunition pursuant to 18 USC 921(a) in both “AR-type” rifles and “AR-type” handguns.

The AR platform is the semi-automatic version of the M16 machinegun originally designed for and used by the military. The AR-based handguns and rifles utilize the same magazines and share identical receivers. These AR-type handguns were not commercially available when the armor piercing ammunition exemption was granted in 1986. To ensure consistency, upon final implementation of the sporting purpose framework outlined above, ATF must withdraw the exemptions for 5.56 mm “green tip” ammunition, including both the SS109 and M855 cartridges. (Source)

What’s the difference between an AR pistol and the .40 S&W I keep for personal protection? The .223 caliber rifle round moves almost 3 times as fast as the .40 caliber round and can pierce level III-A soft armor which is what many patrol officers wear. Yet, all the gun nuts are screaming about is that this is a plot by President Obama to infringe upon their 2nd Amendment rights, when in fact the president has absolutely nothing to do with it. Moreover, the original law, titled “Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act of 1985,” was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. As stated above by Snopes.com, these AR pistols weren’t available in 1986 and this is nothing more than the ATF attempting to update regulations based off new products entering the market. Yes, there are other high-velocity rifle bullets that can pierce soft or even hard body armor, but other than the 7.62×39 and 7.62×51 ammo used in an AR-10 or AK-47, they don’t tend to be chambered in a high-capacity, semi-auto rifle or pistol a criminal can use to spray dozens of rounds in a short period of time.

A police officer who is hit by a regular pistol round stands a good chance of surviving if that bullet hits his or her soft armor. Due to a lower velocity and the vest’s design which causes the bullet to mushroom against Kevlar fibers, the officer will likely incur a nasty bruise or perhaps a fractured rib, but the round will not actually penetrate flesh. However, one of these .223 rounds fired out of an AR pistol will defeat body armor, even at long range, and cause serious injury or death. This “ammo ban” isn’t a plot to disarm gun owners, it is simply to protect law enforcement officers – and judging by the comments I’ve seen by gun nuts lately, it’s a damn good idea.




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  • k0diak314

    You do know that rifle calibers defeat soft armor….not just this evil purported “armor piercing” round?

  • Nematocyzed

    Hello, I am not a “gun nut” I am a firearm owner, just like you. I own a .223 AR, just like an estimated 3.2 million other citizens in the US.

    Current gun laws allow for AR style pistols, but require specific tax stamps for rifles that have shorter than 14″ barrels. This means that if you can’t purchase a 14″ carbine, you can get the 14″ pistol version. The difference?

    14″ carbine rifles have a stock. AR pistols don’t. one is an “assault rifle”, the other is a “pistol”.

    This ban is aimed at removing the ammo used in that “pistol” because it is a danger to LEOs.

    Why not just ban that pistol? or classify it as an assault rifle?

    The specific ammo that the ATF is proposing to ban is actually the most common rifle round purchased and the 2nd most firearm round in the US behind the 9mm. (please feel free to fact check these yourself, I found these through very short google searches.)

    The .223 is not the only “armor piercing round” that can be adapted for use in pistols.the 5.7×28, .500 S&W Mag, 30/30, .30-06, .50 BMG, and the 7.62 all have pistol variants, and all are capable, or can legally be made to pierce armor. Yet, they are not banned. If the .223 is banned, how long do you think it will take until another rifle round is commonly found in a “pistol” or “handgun” system? How long until that round is banned? How long until the next one, and the next are banned? Where would this stop?

    Not all who disagree with this proposed ban are “gun nuts”

    Thank you.

  • fedupintx

    “What’s the difference between an AR pistol and the .40 S&W I keep for personal protection?”

    About 2-3 times in size, making it effectively useless for concealed carry.
    Which appears to be the primary argument posed by Josh Earnest, White House P.S. , in trying to justifying the ban on “”armor piercing bullets that can fit into easily concealed weapons”.

    They are also not “armor piercing” by military standards, nor the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act. So the justification in the ban is inaccurate by definition. These rounds pose no more threat now than
    they did before the development of the AR pistol. In fact, they are less
    effective than most other AR rounds out there and are purchased primarily
    because they are cheap to shoot.

    The idea that these rounds suddenly pose a huge threat to law enforcement and need to be banned is complete BS.

    Try to get your facts straight.

    • Joseph Kool

      0 that’s the number of people killed in crimes using ar15 pistols, but the government wants us to think they’re banning ammo for our safety. Liars!

  • Bill Adams

    These libtards are tickled shitless about this because they know that this will not be the last ammo removed by ATF, just the first. And two. It is just a way to take Americans second amendment rights from them by “backdooring” with regulations what they could NEVER do by legislation! Making owning guns worthless, and they don’t care if they have to support lies to do it.

    • FD Brian

      why not just vote to repeal the 1985 law that Reagan signed into law?

  • Bill Adams

    Hans, I don’t know where your family originated, but by the sound of your name history should have taught you better.
    Diane Banning Stanley, it has nothing to do with penises darling.It has everything to do with government creating law by regulation instead of legislation, but being a liberal progressive you should be well versed in that.
    I’m sure you also support Obamacare, and the EPA regulations on coal. There will come a day in the not so distant future when you will wish there were people to protect you with the weapons you demonize to save you from those who do, and that there were coal fired plants to keep your home warm and your lights on.

  • jonbowden

    bureaucrat gun-grabbin’ and meddlin’, that’s all. And a good slap at them with rifles they don’t like.

  • DAR1127

    Isn’t it interesting that these rounds have not been used in any major problems.

  • Joseph Kool

    There was nothing false about the ammo ban. Obama and the atf really wanted to ban the most popular ammo in America. By insulting gun owners you’re insulting half the country you morons.