Federal ‘green tip’ ban nixed but new ‘armor-piercing’ restrictions proposed
The Bureau of Firearms Alcohol Tobacco and Explosives on March 10 dropped its proposed federal ban of 5.56 M855 “green tip” ammo in the face of staunch opposition from the National Rifle Association and the GOP majorities in the House and Senate.
In conceding the proposed ban had little support, the BATFE told the Associated Press in a prepared statement that it would continue evaluating banning the ammo, which is primarily used for sporting purposes and target practice in AR-15s, the “military-looking” semi-automatic rifles that antigun zealots have demonized among the general public.
The agency said with AR-15 offered in a “pistol” form, it is concerned that criminals in shootouts will use these firearms and this type of ammunition. The BATFE’s contrived “concern” isn’t keeping law enforcement agencies awake at night with national crime-fighting groups saying there is no recorded instance of shootouts with criminals armed with “green tip” ammo.
Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY), the sixth-ranking House Democrat, on March 16 called on the agency to reevaluate the decision and immediately ban 5.56 mm M855 green tip ammunition and called the Obama Administration’s decision to delay introducing the proposed ban “cowardly” and dangerous to police.
Israel also called for a ban on other armor-piercing ammunition that can be used in AR-15 pistols, a move that could wipe out ammo available for the sporting weapon. In a statement issued from his New York office on March 16, Israel announced the proposed Modernize Law Enforcement Protection Act that would extend the definition of armor-piercing ammunition to include all bullets that can pierce body armor and be used in handguns.
The Modernize Law Enforcement Protection Act, introduced by Israel with Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), would require the Attorney General to modify the definition of armor-piercing ammunition to conform to the performance of the bullet. Current law limits the definition for armor-piercing ammunition as bullets or bullet cores used in handguns, which are made from one or a combination of certain metals. It would also require the Attorney General to establish testing criteria to assess a bullet’s lethality against the minimum standards of body armor worn by law enforcement personnel.
This proposed legislation makes necessary updates to previous common-sense gun safety protections for law enforcement. In 1986, the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act (LEOPA) was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan to ban armor piercing bullets for handguns, but not for hunting rifles. Because of significant developments in bullet propellants, coatings and materials, such as Teflon, the original Law Enforcement Protection Act of 1986 is now outdated.
As a result, the marketplace has been flooded by ammunition capable of piercing body armor while skirting the definition of the 1986 ban. Before 2011, few manufacturers sought exemptions and the ATF only granted two, including for “green tip” 5.56 mm bullets because they were largely used for hunting.
Due to advancements in firearm technology gun manufacturers have requested 30 new exemptions since 2011. “Green tip” ammunition can now be used in some types of handguns, and is capable of penetrating a police officer’s body armor or bulletproof vest when fired.
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FUNNY OR LIE
Brady Bunch resorts to parody in sad bid for relevance
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is attempting to breathe life into its moribund anti-Constitution campaign by resorting to the lowest common denominator—a spoof—with a fake website and accompanying video offering “gun tourism” tips.
The TripAdvisor.com parody was created by a team at the comedy website Funny or Die, showing two “criminals” boasting about where to go in America to buy guns, giving suggestions for where “felons and fugitives can go to buy, carry and traffic in guns,” and where they should avoid.
The website and video campaign accompany the Brady Bunch’s annually ignored rankings of states with the most restrictive (good, by Brady standards) and least restrictive gun laws.
According to the Brady Campaign, it analyzed 33 gun policies in each state and found that many make it “far too easy” for criminals and people with severe mental illnesses to obtain guns. Areas include laws requiring companies to videotape all gun sales, stores to verify inventory through dealer records, individuals to report lost or stolen weapons and businesses to prevent bulk purchases of handguns to potential traffickers.
Twelve states—Louisiana, Montana, Arkansas, Virginia, Kentucky, Florida, Nevada, Maine, Mississippi, Idaho, New Mexico, and Alabama—earned the group’s “2015 Criminals’ Choice Award.”
The Funny or Die’s website and video singles out those states the Brady Bunch say have the weakest gun laws, and praises states where those laws are stronger, including those where regulations have been tightened since the December 2012 Sandy Hook shootings.
The campaign names states it want to shame with a “Criminals Choice” award, or a place in the “Traffickers Top Ten.” The lineup includes Louisiana, Virginia, Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas and others, in addition to Arizona and Nevada, which are singled out in the Funny or Die video.
Not everyone was amused with the parody. Columnist EJ Montini of The Arizona Republic, acknowledging he favors universal background checks among other restrictions, nevertheless challenged Brady’s assertion that Arizona is “a paradise for criminals.”
“I don’t know,” Montini writes. “But I’ve also lived in Arizona for a long, long time. And while I’d certainly like to improve the firearms regulations in our state I don’t consider our beautiful desert oasis a ‘paradise for criminals.’ We have our share of criminals. But so, too, does every other place, including those with stringent firearms restrictions.”
Second Amendment advocates admit the website and video are humorous spoofs, but they aren’t laughing about the misinformation and hysteria it promotes.
The parody “is a nonstarter, just a poorly-coded repackaging of the same meritless Brady Campaign gun control propaganda of yesterday, ” Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition and executive director of the Calguns Foundation, told Chris Eger of Guns.com on March 12.
Truth is, the Brady Bunch needed something splashy to regain some relevance among anti-gun zealots, who are rallying behind the black flag and green wallet of Michael Bloomberg’s front group, Everytown For Gun Safety. The fact that the American public has rejected its message doesn’t seem to register with the increasingly obscure group.
The parody “is exactly the kind of Hail Mary effort we’d expect to see from a dying organization,” Combs told Guns.com. It “is nothing but an attention-seeking gadget by an organization that desperately seeks relevance. (It) will probably get more traffic from amused gun owners than from the Brady Campaign’s own dwindling number of supporters.”
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The Funny or Die spoof hoping to revitalize the push for gun control
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Brady Campaign Spoofs NRA and Gun-Friendly States With TripAdvisor Parody
Proposed Vermont background check bill ‘is dead’
The Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously on March 13 to bar certain convicted criminals from possessing firearms and to report the names of some mentally ill people to a federal database, setting up what would be a rare floor debate this week over the state’s gun laws.
However, that debate will not include the proposed provisions within Senate Bill 31, including universal criminal background checks, which was the subject of weeks of heated testimony and an evening hearing in February that brought out hundreds of gun-rights supporters and opponents. The centerpiece of that bill was a requirement that those buying guns in private sales must submit to federal background checks.
“S.31 is not being acted on in this committee,” its chair, Sen. Dick Sears (D-Bennington) told Paul Heintz, a staff writer at Seven Days. “S.31 is dead — I guess that’s the proper term — and will not be acted on this year or next year by this committee.”
“This is a historic victory, because this is a gun violence prevention bill that’s going forward despite the opposition of the gun lobby,” Gun Sense Vermont cofounder Ann Braden told Seven Days’ Heintz. “This issue has been untouchable for years and now it’s on the table.”
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TALK THE TALK, WALK THE WALK
Open-carry activists take to the streets in Pennsylvania, Texas
Open-carry activists took to the streets last weekend to demonstrate their support for the Constitution by openly carrying sidearms in Pennsylvania and Texas.
Citizens for Liberty’s Steve Piotrowski and about 60 gun supporters rallied at Bala Cynwyd Park in Lower Merion, Pa., on March 15.
“We’re all here because we believe that real patriotism is a will to challenge the government when it is wrong. That’s what we are doing here today,” Piotrowski, 32, of Lower Providence, told Morgan Zalot of the Philadelphia Daily News on March 16. “Red America and blue America must finally come together and solve a serious problem, because protecting our children from predators isn’t a conservative position or a liberal position. It’s a commonsense American position.”
The demonstrators gathered to protest a Lower Merion Township ordinance that they say is unlawful because it creates a “gun-free zone” in parks. The ordinance reads: “No person except authorized members of the Police Department shall carry or discharge firearms of any kind in a park without a special permit, unless exempted.”
Township commissioners in January, despite the threat of a lawsuit, decided against striking or changing the ordinance, ruling that it does not violate state law.
“The gun guys, I think, are trying to make it seem as if there’s this tangle of regulations, and it’s so confusing to be a gun owner, and crossing county lines can be dangerous to them,” Shira Goodman, executive director of CeaseFirePA, told Zalot, claiming the ordinance doesn’t technically ban guns from the park.
Joshua Prince, a lawyer with the Firearms Industry Consulting Group at yesterday’s rally, called on Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman to prosecute anyone involved in passing and upholding the Lower Merion ordinance. He said that if the township keeps the law, a suit is imminent.
“To the taxpayers in Lower Merion, my apologies,” he said. “Your elected officials are going to cause your tax rates to go up, because Lower Merion is going to be sued.”
On March 14, about 50 members of a Central Texas gun rights group walked to remember an incident where a man was arrested after carrying an assault-style rifle and concealed handgun in public in the second annual Walk That Started It All in Temple.
The walk was a way to remember the March 2013 arrest of Army Master Sgt. Christopher “C.J.” Grisham, who was arrested after police received a report about a man who was carrying an assault-style rifle while walking along Airport Road in West Temple.
According to the Associated Press, Grisham said he was just walking with his son to help him get a Boy Scout Badge, but police confiscated the rifle and arrested him after the encounter his son recorded on camera.
In Texas, people can openly carry rifles, shotguns, and black powder revolvers.
Walkers said Saturday’s event was also a time to educate the public about open carry gun laws in Texas and push for more gun rights.
“I think we just want to bring some awareness that guns are a part of our heritage and our civilization,” Lyndon Brady of San Antonio told the AP.
For more, go to:
Gun-toting activists rally in Bala Cynwyd Park
Group demonstrates right to carry firearms at Bala Cynwyd Park
Right-to-carry-firearms proponents rally against Lower Merion code
Temple: Gun rights group holds annual open carry walk
What to Watch: Texas House trafficking bill, gun bills in Senate?