ATF Backs Off AR-15 Bullet Ban . . . for Now

by Charles C. W. Cooke

Per The Hill, a victory for common sense:

The Obama administration is pulling back a controversial proposal to ban a form of armor-piercing ammunition commonly used in AR-15 hunting rifles.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) said it will not seek to issue a final framework for the rule “at this time” after receiving more than 80,000 comments on the proposal, the “vast majority” of which were negative. 

“You spoke, we listened,” the ATF tweeted.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun-rights groups assailed the proposal, and were joined by Republicans in demanding that it be withdrawn.

Now it has been.

As Kevin Williamson noted at length last month, this move never made the slightest bit of sense. Rather, it seemed that the ATF was “reasoning toward some specific, predetermined goal.”

Still, governments are governments, and the agency’s language seems to leave the question cracked open a touch:

Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework.

Stay vigilant.

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