3 Ways to Stop the .223/5.56 (M855) Ammunition Ban

.223 NATO Lake City M855 FMJ 62 Grain Steel Penetrator Ammo

BATFE is only considering comments received by March 16, 2015. Act now and help spread the word!

Last week, the Internet was abuzz after the announcement by the BATFE of its plan to ban M855 ammunition—one of the most popular low cost options for AR-15s. The Shooter’s Log reported on the action and promised further details on how to contact the BATFE expressing your opposition to the ban. Let’s get to business at the beginning and for those who missed the news, you can read the rest of the story.

American flag with bald eagle overlay
The 2016 elections may prove a tipping point—for or against the Second Amendment.

Show the Administration that we have pens and phones as well!

Contact the BATFE via email at and express your opposition to the BATFE proposal to ban common rifle ammunition used by millions of gun owners. Remember to proofread your comment and ensure it is concise. Alternatively, you can use the suggested text I used or some of the bullet points from the NRA-ILA. Simply, copy and paste the following letter into the email address provided.

Re:  Ammunition Ban, M855 AP—Oppose To Whom it may Concern: I am writing to register my opposition to the proposed ammunition reclassification of the popular M855 ammunition.

Commonly accepted and used for 30 years, no significant abuses of M855 .223/5.56mm ammunition has been documented that warrants such action. There is no evidence of an increased risk today than there was nearly 30 years ago when the “Sporting Purposes Exemption” was enacted.

Recently, competing special interests have been attempting to prohibit or reduce lawful citizens access to firearms and ammunition through a series of legislation and actions that have all soundly been defeated through the legislative process, courts and the will of the majority.

Based upon my personal experience, the elimination of the “Sporting Purposes” exemption will not enhance public safety and does not serve the interests of the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act (LEOPA).

If you have any questions or require anything additional, please do not hesitate to contact me.


You can also print out a copy, add your John Hancock (signature) and deliver it via fax to (202) 648-9741. Many computer programs will allow you to scan the document and fax it electronically if you do not have a dedicated fax machine. Of course if you want to go old school, you can send your opposition via the U.S. Mail to:

Denise Brown Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives 99 New York Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20226 ATTN: AP Ammo Comments

Pressure needs to be applied from all directions and elections are just around the corner. Don’t forget to contact your U.S. Senators and Members of Congress. Encourage them to oppose the BATFE’s proposed action to ban M855 ammunition and other rifle cartridges that are overwhelmingly used by law-abiding Americans for self-defense, sport shooting and other legitimate purposes. Use the “Write Your Lawmakers” feature on the NRA-ILA’s website or call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.

A few more points you may wish to include offered by the NRA-ILA:

  • M855 ammunition should not be categorized as “armor piercing” in the first place, given that lead is the primary material beneath its copper jacket.
  • BATFE’s framework does not clarify the “sporting purposes” exemption; it simply interprets it into irrelevance.
  • The framework overturns nearly 30 years of settled law and the good faith expectations of gun owners and industry members.
  • The framework is totally at odds with the intent of the law to ensure that restrictions on armor piercing handgun ammunition do not unduly restrict common rifle ammunition, most of which is capable of penetrating police body armor when used in a rifle as intended.
  • BATFE incorrectly insists that it is required to establish an “objective” standard based on handgun design, yet it fails even to do that with the very broad “discretion” it retains to deny the exemption to projectiles that meet its “objective” test.
  • The framework will suppress the development of non-lead rifle projectiles that offer increased performance for hunters, decreased lead exposure, and solutions for hunters in states that restrict the use of lead in hunting.
  • The framework will likewise deter handgun development, as new designs could trigger bans.
  • Coupled with increasing attempts to ban lead projectiles, the framework could drastically reduce the availability of lawful ammunition for sporting and other legitimate purposes.
  • M855 ammunition in AR pistols is not a common threat faced by law enforcement officers.

What have you done to stop the ban? Any other suggestions? Share them in the comment section.


The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog. "The Shooter's Log", is to provide information - not opinions - to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decicions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (143)

  1. You guys are a bunch of simpletons. Call your congressman? Write your congressman? How stupid can you get?? We live in a one party dictatoship! For about 50 years the elected gangsters have ignored all the petitions, calls and letters.
    Yet, that is the best you can come up. You loosers. Just like the Conservatives. All your brain pans together are equal to one rat turd sized gbrain1

  2. While I am in total agreement that the M855 ban is an egregious over-reach by the BATFE, to call it “Obama’s ban” is a misnomer, unless you are willing to call the even more insidious 922(r) restrictions on foreign made components of rifles “George H.W. Bush’s” over-reach is hypocritical. I love showing gun haters two photographs of an AK I have. The photos are to all appearances identical, except that the magazine in one photo is made from Russian parts and the other made with USA parts. Same gun. Same functionality. One will land you in Federal prison and the other is perfectly legal. How does that make any sense?

    The fact is that these two decisions were made by Federal bureaucrats without ANY specific directions from the Presidents who were serving at the time.

    However, the Gun Owners’ Protection Act (GOPA) which was passed by a Democrat legislature and was signed into law by St. Ronald Reagan, was far more damaging to the 2nd Amendment. For those who don’t know, GOPA enshrined into law the date of May 19th, 1986, after which no machine guns (truly automatic weapons) not registered by that date could not longer be owned, transferred, or otherwise sold by ANY non-military or “law enforcement” entity without tortuous penalties. I am against ANY law which un-Constitutionally deprives U.S. citizens of their 2nd Amendment rights. But you can’t honestly say that the Obama administration is any more culpable than the Reagan (or Bush 41) administration for the abrogation of our rights. I know that many posters are going be be pissed off with me for mentioning this. To those I say, “Sack up, study, and find the truth”.

    1. @ Ross Kahn:

      How could we be pissed at you for not knowing what a truth is? You have blurred your personal opinion with fact and are wholesaling it as if it were God’s honest truth.

      The simple truth is Reagan signed a law, nothing more and nothing less. The truthful portion of that fact ends right there; and anything thereafter is merely your personal perception and opinion as to whether it was actually “far more damaging to the 2nd Amendment” than what this Obama administration has done.

      Last I checked I could still buy a fully automatic weapon, which is a far cry from Obama’s attempt at an outright ammo ban. But I’ll leave you to opine as to which is more damning to the Second Amendment.

      In the mean time I must ask, to what end should the “truth be found” if it serves no real purpose? While you bring up the past to weave partial truths into antiquated statements, did you present a resolution to the current problem? I submit you did not. So what was your real point other than to give Obama a free pass?

      Whatever happened to “The Buck Stops Here”? Obama is the head of his administration but has made a pastime of constantly passing the buck. So now those under his administration know full well they can continue to exploit his feebleness without any fear of repercussions. Such is directly Obama’s own doing.

      A principled man sits at the head of his table and willingly takes responsibility for all activities under their charge regardless of knowledge; whereas a despicably weak man instead passes the buck and claims no knowledge or control, and worse, considers this an acceptable excuse for his failures.

      That is a disgusting trait in any man, but is even more devastating when that man has been entrusted with executive power as the head of a nation. Such actions are a disgrace and should turn anyone’s stomach.

      As previously stated, I see no other purpose behind your comment other than some innate desire to defend Obama, especially at the expense of a truly great President. So with that in mind, I must point out that your opinions always culminate into a representation of who you truly are.

      So you must now own the fact that you just chose to defend the most despicable president in U.S. history. To you I say, “You are a sad-sack who needs to examine yourself and what a truth really is”.

  3. I read, where this guy predicted, that the New World (USA), would see 2 civil wars, and both would be bloody, but would prevail. Just hate, I’m not as young as I use to be, but still pretty active. I have a Nephew, in the Air Force, and he said that it has been cut to the bone, and forcing good people out everywhere. Before Obama’s through, we want have a military strong enough to defend this country. Hard to believe, that our Gov. has aloud this to happen. At one time, they would not let this happen, things would happen!

  4. I served from 1962 to 1966 to preserve our liberties. Now a bunch of nut cases want to take away the rights that my brothers and I fought to protect. When will our government begin to protect our rights instead of attempting to take them away.

    1. @Ray Nickles,

      It is not and never has been the government’s role to protect our rights from those nut cases. Those rights are so important, that We the people reserved to ourselves the role of protecting our rights. Our Constitution and laws (like 42 USC 1983) empower We the People to use the judicial system to protect our rights.

      Those nut cases are why the oaths we took were to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, both “foreign AND domestic.” That’s a life-long oath, as applicable today as it was when we were in uniform. We can never expect the government to do that job for us.

    2. I too took the LIFE long Oath. Didn’t the BATFE have to take the same Oath. Does this mean that if they go against there Oath, and the Constitution, that it is not legal, if they ban the ammo, if ordered by the Prez. I don’t think they should have to obey anyone, that goes against the Constitution, that they sworn to protect, and defend. What would U do. I know what I’d do.

    3. @Rod,

      I think Lt. Calley learned the answer to your question the hard way — “just following orders” is not a defense when the orders are clearly illegal.

    4. Thank U Sir, that answered my question. Did U ever think, we would have a Prez, that wanted to destroy us, instead of taking care of what most countries would give anything to have. I think this Common Core education has been going on a lot longer than we thought. I’ve never seen so many young people, so anti- American. I guess this is why this generation has a name, Millennials. This is just a nice word for, a lost generation.

    5. @Rod,

      You are welcome, and thank you for your service.

      No, I never expected that we would see this.

      Obama is the enemy. Period. He hates America. That’s why he wants to change America into something else. Not “improve” but fundamentally “change.”

      Anti-American education is not limited to “common core” — it is the NEA and other organizations being controlled by totalitarian Leftists who hate America to the core.

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