It should be noted that it was not just the NRA that opposed the BATFE proposed framework and the ban on M855 5.56 bullets. There were a lot of gun rights organizations involved. I will say what I think really got BATFE's attention were the letters from the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees signed by a majority of the members of both houses of Congress. For that, I do give the NRA-ILA a lot of credit because I'm sure they had a lot to do with it.
From the NSSF:
ATF announced today that it will not move forward with its proposed framework to ban commonplace 5.56 M855 "green tip" ammunition at this time while it reviews the record number (more than 80,000) comments it has received so far. ATF will continue to accept comments through March 16. NSSF, as the trade association for the firearms industry, looks forward to engaging in a dialogue with ATF to address this issue that led to the now withdrawn proposal. Our industry members hope to meet consumer demand in bringing alternative ammunition products to the market and to continue to sell the popular M855 rifle target ammunition. NSSF continues to strongly urge ATF to grant 32 long-pending petitions to exempt alternative rifle ammunition designed and intended for the hunting market.
From Gun Owners of America:
In a stunning new development, the ATF has announced today that it will “formally delay” the implementation of its ammo ban, in the face of 80,000 comments which were overwhelmingly negative.Last month, Obama’s ATF had proposed a rule to effectively ban AR-15's by banning the common AR-15 “green tip” ammunition.Supposedly, gun owners had until March 16 to send comments to ATF. But then, lo and behold, the AR-15 ammunition in question turned up (last week) on an ATF list of ammunition indicating that it had ALREADY BEEN BANNED. Oops!The ATF claimed this was a “publishing error.” But the only “error” the lying agency made was to telegraph its firm intention before the comment period was closed. It was like the bizarre world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland: First the sentence; then the trial.ATF cries “uncle” after getting hammered from the publicThe agency is now crying “uncle,” in the face of thousands upon thousands of negative comments from gun owners all around the country -- including more than 200 congressmen.The agency said today:Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study.A “good faith interpretation”? Well, that’s laughable. But realize the agency says the issue deserves “further study.”So now the question becomes: Is this a genuine retreat, or just a “tactical retreat,” as we saw with Operation Choke Point? In that case, the federal government removed gun dealers from its “risky business list,” but continue to persecute them under that program on a case-by-case basis.And, finally, what about the ban on Russian-made 7N6 ammo, which is not reversed by ATF's reversal?Our answer to both of these questions is that we need to keep up the pressure -- and not trust ATF's purported “change of heart.”GOA will keep watching the ATF and alert you to any future attempts to slip a ban by the American people. Your grassroots efforts have been phenomenal!!!
From the Second Amendment Foundation:
BELLEVUE, WA – While overwhelming public pressure has suddenly caused the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to postpone action on a proposed ban on M855 ammunition for modern sport-utility rifles, the Second Amendment Foundation said the battle is not over in defense of firearms rights.
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, who launched a television and radio campaign Monday to derail the proposal, was gratified to learn from an ATF statement that more than 80,000 comments had been received from the public.
“We are delighted to have been a part of the effort to stop this proposal in its tracks,” Gottlieb said. “The grassroots responded to a serious threat, and the negative reaction on Capitol Hill from both the House and Senate – no doubt spurred by constituent calls and letters – have, at least for now, put the brakes on a bad idea.
“However,” he continued, “we are encouraging the nation’s gun owners to remain vigilant. Our initial radio and television advertisements will run through this week, reminding grassroots activists that the Obama administration is not likely to abandon its gun control efforts. Frankly, this may just be the end of Round One.”
SAF general counsel Miko Tempski sent a letter threatening legal action, which for sure had an impact, to ATF Director B. Todd Jones.
“This is a great victory but the battle is not over,” Gottlieb cautioned. “The Obama administration will try to rework this ban proposal and we will see it back sooner than later. Now is the time to double our efforts and drive a permanent stake through the heart of any ammo ban.”
From the Firearms Policy Coalition:
March 10, 2015 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) — In the face of overwhelming public opposition, the Obama Administration is running away from yet another gun control scheme. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had proposed regulations that would have banned M855 5.56×45 ammunition as “armor piercing.”
But the Bureau published a tweet this morning saying, “You spoke, we listened.”
Second Amendment gun rights advocates are hailing the move, calling it a victory for common sense and the Constitution.
“Millions of law-abiding American gun owners won today,” said Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition. “Freedom ultimately prevailed in our fight with the ATF because the Constitution, the truth, and the law are on our side.”
In a public notice also published on its website today, the federal agency said that it had already received “more than 80,000 comments” opposing the framework that would ban the ammunition commonly used by shooters in AR-15 platform modern sporting rifles, and that “ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework.”
However, gun rights leaders are careful to note that the ATF can easily reverse course again, prompting calls for gun owners across the nation to continue sending ATF comments in opposition to the ammunition regulations.
The ATF’s notice indicated that the Obama Administration might look to propose other, similar ammunition regulations, possibly “through additional proposals and opportunities for comment.”
“While we’re pleased to see that the Obama Administration and ATF listened to the American people for once, it’s clear to us that this fight isn’t over,” Combs warned. “Gun owners must continue to be vigilant in their defense of the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms.”
“As the M855 ammo ban debacle proved, the federal government will run over Second Amendment rights any chance it gets. We can’t take our eye off the ball for one second.”
Firearms Policy Coalition noted the strong coalition effort to stop the M855 ammunition regulations, especially through other gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and the Second Amendment Foundation.
“Today’s positive outcome shows what we as a culture can do when we combine forces and work together,” explained Combs. “I look forward to many more opportunities to show the gun prohibitionists what real grassroots looks like.”
Over 32,000 letters were sent to the ATF through Firearms Policy Coalition’s Take Action activism platform at ammoban.org and stopATF.org, which will continue to allow people to submit public comment letters to the agency.
UPDATE: While not a gun rights organization, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is on our side. Here is his response to the BATFE announcement.
WASHINGTON – One day after Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led 52 Republican colleagues in condemning a proposal limiting access to rifle ammunition, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) today announced it would not finalize the plan. All senators were invited to join the letter.I thank the senator and those senators that signed his letter to BATFE Dir. B. Todd Jones. My question is why supposed Second Amendment supporters such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) did not sign the letter. There were Democrats in the House that signed Rep. Bob Goodlatte's letter.
“I’m pleased to see that the ATF has now decided to abide by congressional intent of the law, and its exemption protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. ATF’s original proposal to short-circuit the exemption and limit access to rifle ammunition was an affront to the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and it was met with stiff rebuke. I will continue to stand up for the rights of law-abiding Americans and the constitutional protections they are guaranteed,” Grassley said.
The ATF proposal was inconsistent with a 1986 Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act exemption protecting the ammunition primarily used for sporting purposes, such as hunting and target shooting.