The ATF was forced to retreat after their attempt to ban common M855 ammunition. Most people probably saw the attempt as something that was doomed to failure and didn’t think much of it. So why, after it did go down in flames, should we care?
Did you know that this isn’t the first time that the ATF has tried to ban ammunition by executive fiat?
Last year, the ATF banned Russian 7N6 ammunition to little, if any, protest from the public. Why did this attract so little attention? Probably because the projectiles are for the less popular AK-74 platform, not the AR or AK-47. The administration was able to successfully divide and conquer over a caliber that is used by fewer shooters than 5.56 NATO or 7.62x39MM. It’s quite possible that they expected the same result this time.
While the AR-15 is the fastest selling rifle in America, it’s not the most common. There are relatively fewer shooters with this rifle than other types of rifles. There are probably an order of magnitude more .30-06 rifles in American gun cabinets than there are AR-15s. The attempt didn’t work because there’s a critical mass of AR shooters out there who could raise a stink; more so than AK-74 shooters.
The take-away American gun owners should have from this is that it matters when the government tries to overstep its bounds to ban any ammunition. It doesn’t matter if you use it or not. The ammo banned today may not be something you buy, but what about tomorrow’s ban?