ATF “Notice of Publishing Error”. ATF on a fact-finding mission “accidentally” forgot to include SS109 and M855 projectile exemptions in the 2014 ATF Regulation Guide.
It is my opinion that this was no accidental “publishing error”, and the ATF found out exactly what they wanted to find out – that there would be significant backlash, and they can’t “just get away with it”. If this “publishing error” had been met with a less fierce reaction from gun groups and legislators, it may well have become the law of the land without any discussion, without any ability to rebut. Hundreds of thousands of people would have become instant criminals by the mere possession of the M855 or SS109 rounds.
Here’s the full text of the ATF statement:
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for armor piercing ammunition, and conclude that the absence of this listing indicates these exemptions have been rescinded.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Please be advised that ATF has not rescinded any armor piercing ammunition exemption, and the fact they are not listed in the 2014 online edition of the regulations was an error which has no legal impact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.