I know, about now you’re thinking “what can Josh Sugarmann teach me about M855 green tip ammunition? Not much, except that it pays to understand just what the enemy thinks. It’s also important to know just how behind the times they are in understanding what we think, but more on that in a moment.
This is despite the fact that ATF is only doing what the NRA and other members of the gun lobby consistently argue should be done: enforcing the gun laws already on the books. Opponents also allege that no law-enforcement officer has been shot with one of the cartridges fired from a handgun. Testing the veracity of that assertion is challenging, but the whole point of the ban on “armor-piercing” ammunition is to prevent law enforcement and first responders who rely on body armor from ever having to face assailants wielding handguns loaded with armor-piercing rounds.
Yet left unstated is the fact that ATF’s proposal, as detailed in a new report from my organization, the Violence Policy Center, is the direct result of the gun industry’s own actions.
Facing a continuing decline in household gun ownership, the gun industry is constantly engaged in efforts to create new product lines to sell to a shrinking consumer base. In recent years the industry has aggressively marketed AR-15 assault pistols that use common rifle ammunition, such as the 5.56-by-45-millimeter round used in AR-type assault rifles.
So it’s possible that Josh doesn’t really understand anything about rifle ammunition, or perhaps he does and is playing dumb (or lying) in order to deceive his idiot readers at Huffington Post. But just to make sure you understand, let’s cover this for a moment.
Common 5.56 mm ammunition will penetrate soft body armor, all of it, period. Kevlar will not stop 5.56 mm ammunition (lead ball) shot at 3200 FPS. Nor will soft body armor stop most rifle rounds. Soft body armor is [routinely] tested for 9mm pistol ammunition, not rifle ammunition.
ESAPI (enhanced SAPI plates, or the ceramic ballistic plates worn in ballistic plate carriers) are designed to stop rifle rounds, and are specifically tested for M855. No cop today (or anyone else for that matter) wearing Kevlar is protected from any rifle round (unless it is from something like a pistol caliber rifle), and the existence of M855 or lack thereof doesn’t change that. Likewise, a cop (or anyone else) wearing ESAPI plates is protected from rifle rounds, including the M855, and the existence of the M855 round or lack thereof doesn’t change that. Finally, even ESAPI plates must stop a certain percentage of rounds (so there is some probability of fracture and penetration even with tested and specified rounds regardless of type).
So you understand, don’t you, that the M855 ban has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with LEO safety, the liar in the White House notwithstanding?
As for the notion that gun owners are demanding that existing law be enforced, who is doing that? No seriously, who is doing that? Not me. Are you? If so, why? Okay, perhaps the NRA has used that stupid argument, but we want open, constitutional carry in every state in America, and we want the Hughes amendment repealed, as well as prohibitions on things like SBRs in the NFA repealed. That’s just a start. We don’t want the existing laws to be enforced. Every federal gun law is a violation of the constitution. Every one.
Sugarmann then shows us a screen capture from the Rock River Arms web site. Perhaps this will be good advertizing for them. One can only hope. Sugarmann ends with his usual propaganda that gun sales is down and ownership is increasingly focused on a smaller and smaller percentage of people. Whatever. If Josh wants to think this that’s alright with me. The less they know about us and our beliefs, the better.
Read also Kurt Hofmann:
One (presumably very much unintended) argument against banning “armor piercing” handgun ammunition for private citizens came a while back from a very surprising source–the Violence Policy Center. As that group’s director, Josh Sugarmann, was cited in the U.S. News & World Report:
Gun control advocacy groups like Sugarmann’s say the body armor worn by the shooters in Newtown [which wasn’t “body armor,” anyway] and Aurora undermines the argument made by gun advocates that shootings can be stopped by someone with a handgun.
In other words, Sugarmann seems to be arguing that armed private citizens would have a reasonable chance at stopping mass shootings, if only they were not denied handgun ammunition capable of defeating body armor.
Yea, he is arguing first that guns are of no use against body armor so why would ordinary citizens have guns?; and second, there are millions of rounds in circulation that can defeat body armor, so they must be banned. Sugarmann doesn’t care about consistency. He’s just parroting the latest talking point.