Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 34 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Judicial Watch Sues The ATF For Obama-Era Records On Attempts To Ban M855 Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 2 days ago

Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), a component of the Department of Justice, for 1,900 pages of records about a proposed reclassification that would effectively ban certain types of AR-15 ammunition as armor-piercing (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02218)).

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the agency failed to respond to a May 14, 2018, FOIA request for the 1,900 documents about the Obama administration’s AR-15 ammo ban efforts. The documents include ATF talking points about the “Armor Piercing Ammunition Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” and other records discussing ammunition classification.

The lawsuit is the latest development in Judicial Watch’s more than three-year effort to obtain documents from the ATF. Judicial Watch discovered the document cache in separate litigation on the ammo ban issue.

In March 2015, more than 200 members of Congress wrote to former ATF Director B. Todd Jones to express their “serious concern” that the proposal to reclassify the ammunition types as armor-piercing may violate the Second Amendment by restricting ammunition that had been primarily used for “sporting purposes.” The ATF’s move “does not comport with the letter or spirit of the law and will interfere with Second Amendment rights by disrupting the market for ammunition that law abiding Americans use for sporting and other legitimate purposes,” the letter said. The ATF subsequently halted its efforts.

The precise statutory definition of armor-piercing ammunition can be found in 18 U.S.C. §921(a)(17).

“Simply put, the ATF refuses to comply with federal open records law,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The ATF has withheld records for over three years concerning the Obama administration’s shady attempt to institute gun control by restricting ammunition instead of guns.”

To begin with, civilians should have access to everything the military has, including armor-piercing ammunition, under our second amendment rights and duties.

Second, M855 (“Green Tip”) is not armor piercing ammunition.  That’s enough said.  If I have to say any more about that, I may as well try to teach calculus to my dog – I’ll probably have more success and I’m sure a more receptive audience.

Tom Fitton and Judicial Watch is doing Yeoman’s work on just about everything imaginable.  I’m on their email list and see what they’re engaged in, and I simply can’t link it all, and I certainly can’t intelligently comment on it all.  If you’re not on their distribution, you need to get on it right of way.

As I said before, most of the ATF employees were there under Holder and at least complicit in the abuse of American citizens.  That’s who they are, it’s the way they think.  Tom had to push this hard for success because what’s in the collection of documents is embarrassing to the ATF.  You can count on it.

And also as I’ve said before, for me (who cannot afford to file a lawsuit every time I turn around), the FOIA is essentially worthless.  The FedGov has ignored virtually every one of my requests (I’ve had success only once).  The power of the purse is what the Congress has over the heads of the bureaucratic tyrants.  They won’t use it.  Thus there is no check on their power.

ATF Holds M855 Green Tip Ban In Abatement

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 7 months ago

David Codrea:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced Tuesday it “will not at this time seek to issue a final framework” implementing a proposed ban on what it’s still insisting is “armor piercing ammunition.” The special advisory issued by the Public Affairs Division noted that with the comment period scheduled to close by next Monday, “ATF has already received more than 80,000 comments, which will be made publicly available as soon as practicable.”

‘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,” the advisory explained. “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.”

[ … ]

While arguments are correct that M855 ball ammo does not meet ATF’s own definition of “armor piercing,” the larger point, that there is no legitimate authority to impose such criteria in the first place, is being missed. So when ATF declares they’ll be back, until such time as that usurpation is addressed and resolved, it’s prudent to believe they will be, at the first political opportunity.

We could posit three theories behind what the ATF did today.  First, not even the federal regulators like to be called names such as traitors, douche, incompetent and bloated.  But that’s assuming they care about the American people, and the evidence for such an assertion is lamentable nonexistent.  So that theory suffers from being wishful thinking.

Second, the ATF understands that M855 green tip ammunition doesn’t meet the statutory definition of AP, or its corollary, that 5.56 mm lead ball ammunition can also penetrate soft body armor and is far more lethal in most circumstances.  Therefore, there will be a protracted legal battle waged against this regulation.

Third, the ATF realizes that a ban on M855 ammunition is meaningless without a ban on 5.56 mm ammunition, and that would have no more basis in law than a ban on any other type of ammunition.  Additionally, the ATF realizes they may be firing the first shot of a civil war were they to take an action like that.

Between theories 2 and 3, I don’t know which is more likely.  I dismiss out of hand the notion that the ATF feared action taken by the anemic, pathetic, pitiful Senate and House.  Readers may also have other theories (or combinations of the three proffered here).  But David is likely right on one thing.  The ATF will be back.


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