Hoeven Presses ATF to Abandon Proposed M855 Ammunition Ban

Senator Expressed Legal Concerns with Ban to Attorney General Nominee

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today wrote to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Director B. Todd Jones to express serious concerns with the agency’s proposal to redefine M855 ammunition as “armor piercing,” making it illegal to manufacture and distribute the bullets under the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act. Hoeven and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who led the effort, were among 53 senators who signed the letter, which is available here.

“As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment I have serious concerns with the ATF’s proposal to redefine M855 ammunition,” said Hoeven. “The M855 is widely used for hunting and sporting purposes by North Dakotans and sport enthusiasts across the country, and was explicitly exempted in the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act precisely for that reason. The federal government should not ban law-abiding citizens from obtaining a widely used form of ammunition.”  

Earlier this month, Hoeven met with Loretta Lynch, the nominee to be Attorney General. During the meeting, the senator expressed serious concerns to Lynch about the legality of the ATF’s proposal to ban this type of ammunition.

The public comment for ATF’s proposal began on February 13.