It’s up to trade organizations to step up to the plate when it matters most.
Although FFLGuard’s wheelhouse is firearms legal services and compliance solutions, I’ve gotten an awful lot of questions from clients related to ATF’s recent move to classify “armor piercing” bullets. It reminded me of the old Chris Rock routine about effectuating back-door gun control by making ammo so expensive that no one could buy it.
On a personal level, my views are best found in one of the better articles that hits the issue square on by Bob Owens… and another by David Codrea that identifies how ATF is using the Administrative Procedures Act to achieve what appears to be an Obama-Administration driven directive down upon ATF. (The irony of that, of course, is that Obama, Holder, et al, don’t seem to mind that they make ATF circumvent the Administrative Procedures Act when conducting a Federal Firearms Licensee’s revocation proceeding, but who’s keeping score?)
In fairness to ATF, they are between a rock and a hard place. They were well aware of the repercussions of this decision, I’m sure. In this case, if they grant exemptions to the law, they will have law enforcement and anti-gun groups on their backs. ATF even explained to us in a recent meeting that they literally had no choice but to issue an opinion because of the extraordinary number of exemption requests that they received. They simply had to act. And you can bet that they got word from Mr. Obama to push this recent opinion through as written.
Of course, ATF informed us they will review all of the comments they get and address them appropriately. If there are any issues that weren’t already considered, they will consider them before a final opinion is issued. Further, my intelligence resources tell me that if this ban goes through, there won’t be an effort by ATF to seize or repossess what AP ammo currently exists out there… but instead to just kibosh the manufacture and import of the ammo going forward. All of this doesn’t make me really breathe easier, but it is what it is.
On a professional level, FFLGuard’s well-documented mandate is to help clients achieve “best-in-class” compliance, and to make life easier for FFLs. With that said, we ALL need to rely on the firearms trade organizations whose very existence is to manage political affairs, and hope that they properly address the AP ammo issue. Whether it’s the NRA, the NSSF, the SAF, or the upstart firearms dealer’s organization, AFRA, it’s time that they all stopped everything else and paid close attention to this issue before it’s too late. This is truly a slippery slope that could have long-lasting effects.
Remember: it wasn’t the asteroid that hit the Earth many moons ago that sent the dinosaurs to extinction, it was the subsequent dust cloud that brought on the ice age. Is this looming ammo ban the asteroid that brings on the dust cloud suffocating firearms owners? I certainly hope not.