Letter from Senator Ayotte on M855 Green Tip Ammo

From: Senator Kelly Ayotte [mailto:senator@ayotte.senate.gov]

Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 4:09 PM
Subject: Reply from Senator Ayotte


April 8, 2015

Dear Mr. Hale:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’  recent publication, titled “ATF Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c).”  I appreciate hearing from you.

As you know, the ATF recently issued guidance on the sale of M855/SS109 “green tip” ammunition, used in the AR-15 rifle.  The Gun Control Act of 1986 currently prohibits the importation of ammunition with the ability to pierce armor, unless it is used by the government or for testing purposes.  The M855 has a lead core with a steel tip.  It is not listed on ATF’s list of armor piercing classified rounds, and has previously fallen under an exemption because it is “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.”  However, the publication that ATF released on February 13, 2015, proposed to narrow the legal definition of sporting preferences to two smaller categories, which would exclude the previously-exempt M855 ammunition.

I share the concerns of many Granite Staters that the ATF’s proposed rule would effectively ban the sale of M855 ammunition and render the AR-15 rifle unusable.  That is why I joined my Senate colleagues to send a letter to ATF Director Todd Jones voicing strong objection to ATF’s framework.  As New Hampshire’s former Attorney General, I worked closely with the state’s law enforcement community, whose safety during their daily jobs is of utmost concern.  Yet, ATF’s proposal would have created arbitrary parameters for determining ammunition that qualifies for the sporting purposes exemption in the 1986 law.

On March 10, 2015, ATF announced its decision not to implement a ban on M855 ammunition due to overwhelming opposition the proposal received from 52 Senators, 238 House Members, and over 80,000 public comments.  A formal decision is expected from the Justice Department, as well, once all comments have been processed.

As a strong supporter of the individual right to keep and bear arms for law-abiding citizens, please be assured that I will continue to support Granite Staters’ Second Amendment rights.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.  It is important for me to hear from you regarding the current issues affecting New Hampshire and our nation. Please do not hesitate to be in touch again if I may be of further assistance.


Kelly A. Ayotte
U. S. Senator





Basically she said she signed the letter to ATF voicing strong objection to the M855 ban. Very Good! What she did not say was that this is still a slipery slope and Loretta Lynch could support the ban as new head of the Justice Department. Did you call your Senator? The argument presented by ATF could be filled by most big game ammo, thus leaving you and I to throw rocks and say baaaaaa.

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About Ed Hale

I am an avid hunter with rifle and Bow and have been hunting for more than 50 years. I have taken big game such as whitetail deer, red deer, elk, Moose and African Plains game such as Kudu, Gemsbok, Springbok, Blesbok, and Impala and wrote an ebook entitled African Safari -Rifle and Bow and Arrow on how to prepare for a first safari. Ed is a serious cartridge reloader and ballistics student. He has earned two degrees in science and has written hundreds of outdoor article on hunting with both bow and rifle.