Rep. Maloney statement on ATF decision to shelve proposed ammo rule

Mar 10, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today released the following statement in reaction to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ decision to shelve a proposal that would have banned M855 ammunition.

“It’s shameful that the gun lobby has, yet again, successfully worked to block an effort that would keep our communities safer from the threat of gun violence. This time we’re talking about banning the use of armor-piercing ammunition, also known as cop-killer bullets that can be used in increasingly more concealable weapons. The decision to shelve this rule puts the narrow interests of the gun lobby before public safety.

“Last year, 50 police officers were killed with a firearm in the line of duty, and nothing significant has been done to prevent similar tragedies this year. Police officers put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities. At the very least we should enforce the laws on the books, and that includes continually updating regulations based on how those laws apply to a changing marketplace.

“It is a national scandal that in the face of terrible tragedies, this country has failed to take meaningful action to protect the public from the tens of thousands of gun-related deaths every year.”

Prior to this decision, Maloney had been circulating a letter to her colleagues supporting the ATFs proposed rule:

Dear Director Jones:

We commend the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on its proposed framework update for the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act (LEOPA) and urge ATF to implement this important new policy that will keep our officers and first responders safe.

In 2014, 50 police officers were killed with a firearm in the line of duty, and these incidents exact a tragic toll not just from these departments, but from the families and communities they serve. Congress passed LEOPA in 1986 to ensure that law enforcement officers did not face extreme safety risk from firearm technology like armor-piercing ammunition. For years, the exemption of rifle ammunition made sense, but the recent proliferation of handguns capable of firing 5.56 mm steel-core armor-piercing rifle ammunition prompts action to protect officers from emerging threats.

ATF took great care to consider and evaluate the concerns of both law enforcement and the firearm industry while developing the revised framework, and we strongly support its decision to consider the likely use of ammunition in non-sporting handguns when determining if a product will be used primarily for sporting purpose. In addition, objective, predictable criteria for eligibility will help manufacturers plan new products and grant consumers greater certainty.

The proposed framework is a tremendous step in the right direction to reclaim Congress’ intent in LEOPA, and we look forward to ATF’s continued diligence to protect our brave law enforcement officers.


                                                Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney