BATFE Retracts M855 Regulation Ban, Calls It a ‘Publishing Error’

Copy of ATF Tweet

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has retracted a published ban on M855 5.56 NATO and other ammunition that
had appeared in electronic versions of the agency’s 2014 ATF Regulation Guide earlier this year.

According to reporting by Katie Pavlich, news editor at, BATFE’s recent proposal to ban commonly used M855 “green tip” AR-15 ammunition under the guise of law-enforcement safety has apparently been in the works far longer, since the sporting-use exemption for the ammo was already removed in electronic copies of the 2014 ATF Regulation Guide, which was available in January 2015.

Pavlich reported on Friday, March 6 that the 2014 ATF Regulation Guide clearly showed where “the exemption for the ammunition in question has already been stripped out of the 2005 regulation handbook moving forward and ‘green-tip’ has been reclassified as ‘armor piercing.’” She produced copies of the affected areas showing how M855 and SS 109, along with U.S. .30-06 M2AP black tips, were no longer given a sporting exemption.

Further, she wrote, “ATF is going to have to explain why the change was made under the radar and will also have to explain what this means for people in possession of ‘green-tip’ ammunition after January 2015 when the new ATF Regulation Guide was published with the exemption [for M855] missing.” Obviously, this regulatory language was in place well before March 16, 2015, the date for which the comment period about the proposed ban on AR-15 “green-tip” ammunition closes. Meaning, ATF had already decided to ignore what were likely to be tens-of-thousands of comments because the agency was never going to consider them in the first place, Pavlich wrote.

Responding to the Pavlich story only a few hours later, ATF Tweeted at 6:12 p.m. on March 6: “Nothing to analyze here folks, just a publishing mistake. No AP ammo exemptions revoked….” Included in the Tweet was a link to a longer statement, reproduced in its entirety below: NOTICE OF PUBLISHING ERROR On Feb. 13, 2015, ATF released for public comment a proposed framework to guide its determination on what ammunition is “primarily intended for sporting purposes” for purposes of granting exemptions to the Gun Control Act’s prohibition on armor piecing ammunition. The posted framework is only a proposal, posted for the purpose of receiving public comment, and no final determinations have been made. Media reports have noted that the 2014 ATF Regulation Guide published online does not contain a listing of the exemptions for armor piercing ammunition, and conclude that the absence of this listing indicates these exemptions have been rescinded. This is not the case. Please be advised that ATF has not rescinded any armor piercing ammunition exemption, and the fact they are not listed in the 2014 online edition of the regulations was an error which has no legal impact on the validity of the exemptions. The existing exemptions for armor piercing ammunition, which apply to 5.56 mm (.223) SS 109 and M855 projectiles (identified by a green coating on the projectile tip), and the U.S .30-06 M2AP projectile (identified by a black coating on the projectile tip), remain in effect. The listing of Armor Piercing Ammunition exemptions can be found in the 2005 ATF Regulation Guide on page 166, which is posted here. The 2014 Regulation Guide will be corrected in PDF format to include the listing of armor piercing ammunition exemptions and posted shortly. The e-book/iBook version of the Regulation Guide will be corrected in the near future. ATF apologizes for any confusion caused by this publishing error. The regulations come out about every 10 years and must be reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Tweets in response to the ATF HQ Tweet were overwhelmingly skeptical: “Sure it isn’t,” “The ATF obviously thinks gun owners are gullible and stupid,” and “Yeah, we super believe you,” were some of the sentiments.

Related stories:

Do you think the agency made a mistake, or is ATF trying to cover up its intention to ban M855 and SS 109 regardless of what the public and Congress has to say? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Comments (33)

  1. Lies, cover-ups and deceptions are all at the very foundation of Obama’s Kingdom. He has surrounded himself with the stench and swill produced by his Court Jesters. He rolls in it and laps it up, much like a hunting hound rolls in feces and then enjoys a snack. The King will not stop until he meets his fate and pays the price for his Country killing agenda!!

  2. My SOURCES told my fellow patriots and myself that the intended effect
    from OBAMA and the BATF would be to next BAN any 7.62×39 mm
    HP and STEEL JACKET, ANY black tipped 308 or 3006 round and all
    potential AMMO rounds that would be able to penetrate a level III VEST.
    ALL USA PATRIOTS should BEWARE because the game of BANNING
    AMMO by OBAMA WILL NOT END until he LEAVES office or is TAKEN OUT of office by 2016. REMEMBER, the HLS FORCES must have BETTER AMMO and MORE of it SO WE cant FIGHT BACK
    in the NEAR future.


  3. Obama and the BATFE are nothing but liars, not to be trusted! Congress needs to put this out of control rights infringing agency out of business by defunding them. At the very least, they need to pass legislation to strip the BATFE from ever being able to put a ban against ANY ammunition.

    1. I’m sure the RINO leadership will get right on that. These are the same folks that are allowing amnesty, and basically the entire progressive agenda to roll forward without the slightest hitch.

  4. From the comments I have read, it appears that everyone thinks the ban has gone away – WRONG! Read IT ALL, CAREFULLY!

    Here in the BATFE’s own words: “Please be advised that ATF has not rescinded any armor piercing ammunition exemption, and the fact they are not listed in the 2014 online edition of the regulations was an error which has no legal impact on the validity of the exemptions. The existing exemptions for armor piercing ammunition, which apply to 5.56 mm (.223) SS 109 and M855 projectiles (identified by a green coating on the projectile tip), and the U.S .30-06 M2AP projectile (identified by a black coating on the projectile tip), remain in effect.”

    “EXEMPTIONS” in this case, means exempt FROM ammunition “primarily intended for sporting purposes”. They use a double-negative in ” exemption” & “rescind” to give the illusion that M855/SS109/M2AP are legal to use “for sporting purposes”, when they are truly exempt FROM being used “for sporting purposes”.

  5. This is great news but I dont think it’s over with yet. We all know the Anointed One will no doubt try some other slight-of-hand as soon as he thinks he can get away with it.

    1. Wait until someone tells THE WON that most any rifle caliber round will penetrate a protective vest.

  6. One would think that with as much practice lying to the public our elected and appointed officials have they’d at least be somewhat accomplished at it.

    This is on par with a little kid closing his eyes and thinking nobody can see him anymore.

    1. @ Lew.

      Your making the assumption that the People you voted for are working for you, and not for themselves. Example Republican US Congressional House Representative Aaron Schock, 33-years old representing Illinois 18th District, is spend money on himself as if it is TAP Water coming out of a Faucet. Rumors has it that Fredrick Lawrence “Fred/Gopher” Grady, former actor and star of the series “Love Boat” and Republican Representative of Iowa’s 6th District, from 1987 to 1993. Bought himself a Custom Made Desk Chair for $20-Thousand USD. of Taxpayers Money, and when he left office bought same chair for only $200.00 USD…

    2. Not at all. . .but if we’re going down that path let’s throw some much deserved tar on Leland Yee.

    3. It is only natural that the liberal California press pay scant attention to old Leland Yee. Had he been a Republican, he would have still been in the news. Yee is not only a lying creep, but a symbol of what has happened to the California state legislature, and why many of us natives have thrown up our hands, wishing to leave the state.

      My wife and I have discussed finding a state with conservative values, low taxes, a good business atmosphere that encourages high employment, property prices that are not sky-high, a low crime rate, a good infrastructure that includes low traffic congestion, good weather (without a constant fear of hurricanes, floods or tornadoes), and people who can carry on an intelligent conversation without frying the English language and who won’t be banging on the door to get us to join their church.

      I know it’s a lot to ask for, but any suggestions?

    4. I feel your pain, and I live in CA too. I have the same dream, but I refuse to abandon my home.

      If you choose to go, go in peace. If you choose to stay, stay the course and fight with dignity. I’ll be here. I live here. This is my home and I don’t give ground unless rational words pursued me otherwise. I’ve not heard those to date, and don’t expect to anytime soon.

      In the mean time, I walk softly and carry a bit stick. If you can do so legally, I recommend doing so. If not, I recommend fighting tooth and nail until you can.

      We seem to be gaining ground, and I have to admit I love a good tussle. Leland Yee will not pass quietly into the night. I’m watching, and I suspect others are too.

    5. Idaho is one, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota & Utah are others. Arizona meets your criteria except for getting more bang for your real estate buck. If you pick Texas or other southern states you can swap out heating costs for AC costs so thats a wash.

    6. @ Secundius: Nice of you to point out Republicans, but why not level the playing field by mentioning a few crooked Democrats (Reid and Melendez are two who come to mind.

  7. My question is

    Do you have to be a bald face LIAR to be part of this Adminstration

    or just promise to become one?

  8. We should hold our breath because all this latest clarification does if “fix” the 2014 document which [probably] prematurely deleted the exemption. It is likely the BATFE will try to remove the exemption in the next publication. It does appear that the premature removal of the exemption was not an accident. They probably thought it would not catch our attention. Keep sending comments to oppose the ban on this ammunition.

  9. Well if you won’t believe the “it was just a publishing error lie”, maybe you will believe it was “the NRA hacked into ATF’s electronic pages and deleted things just to make us look bad.” Wait, no, Hillary must have accidently deleted that section when she was dumping all her own incriminating e-mails.

    1. @ Jim.

      If your going to be 100% Objectively Clear about E-mail Dumping. General/SecState Colin Powell did the SAME THING when he left Office, too…

  10. Wasn’t it just last week this same bunch of facile liars insisted the “ammo-ban is to only to protect cops”? And now this high-minded ammo ban is just a “publishing error”? They couldn’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it.

  11. So, who’re you gonna’ believe, the government, or your lyin’ eyes?

    God bless CTD, Katie Pavlich, and everyone else involved with throwing light on these cockroaches. See how they scurry!

  12. This transparent administration’s appointees have gotten so accustomed to lying in their day to day business activities that they cannot discern truth from fiction. If a publishing mistake, why solicit comments? The BATFE got caught just like Lois Lerner, trying to back door policy contrary to the Constituion. Legislation comes from Congress, not a king.
    Bottom line folks Write, call and or talk to your representatives and vote because otherwise we end up with a monarchy. Defend our country and the freedoms veterans earned.

  13. This wasn’t mistake, the ATF knew what it was doing and when it found out that gun owners are not stupid now it decided to Cover that up by saying it was a publication error. The question if it was an error what them this long to talk people that they was a mistake?

  14. If it was a publishing error, then why did they solicit public comments? Further, if it had been a publishing error, why then did they not “correct” it before this given all the publicity the proposed ban was receiving?

    Obviously, they were following the directive of the anti-Constitution Administration to impose some back door gun control, and then when Americans resisted it in such great numbers, they backed off.

    Don’t get comfortable, folks. The next government attempt to strip us of our rights is no doubt just around the corner.

  15. Surrrrre I believe them. ‘Bout as much as I believe the Prez is an American, and he’s here to help us. The ATF has evolved into a bunch of lying fascist thugs that continuously break the law and have caused the arrest of countless innocent citizens in violation of our Constitutional right to defend ourselves. I have nothing but disgust for that agency and its leaders. There are dark clouds on the horizon for individual freedoms in this country, and ATF will be at the forefront of government agencies arresting and imprisoning recalcitrant gun owners. It don’t take much brainpower to see that many of our “fearless leaders” would prefer to deal with an unarmed populace.

  16. Armor piercing of what? Steel? Kevlar soft body armor? Tanks? All high speed hunting ammo can defeat soft body armor. Does this ATF policy even make sense?

  17. It is a sad commentary, but I have a hard time believing anything the government says. Regardless of the subject ,the material is skewed to fit the wishes of the people in charge.

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