Armor-piercing ammo ban


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Libertyteeth
August 1, 2005, 11:23 PM
In the discussions of S. 397 regarding firearms manufacturer's liability and child safety locks, I haven't seen mention of this, but it is ominous. After all, plain ol' deer huntin' ammo will pierce body armor.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c109:2:./temp/~c109lZ3eS7:e20799:

As passed by the Senate:

SEC. 6. ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION.


(a) Unlawful Acts- Section 922(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended
by striking paragraphs (7) and (8) and inserting the following:

`(7) for any person to manufacture or import armor piercing ammunition,
unless--

`(A) the manufacture of such ammunition is for the use of the United States,
any department or agency of the United States, any State, or any department,
agency, or political subdivision of a State;

`(B) the manufacture of such ammunition is for the purpose of exportation; or

`(C) the manufacture or importation of such ammunition is for the purpose of
testing or experimentation and has been authorized by the Attorney General;

`(8) for any manufacturer or importer to sell or deliver armor piercing
ammunition, unless such sale or delivery--

`(A) is for the use of the United States, any department or agency of the
United States, any State, or any department, agency, or political subdivision
of a State;

`(B) is for the purpose of exportation; or

`(C) is for the purpose of testing or experimentation and has been authorized
by the Attorney General;'.

(b) Penalties- Section 924(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by
adding at the end the following:

`(5) Except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise
provided under this subsection, or by any other provision of law, any person
who, during and in relation to any crime of violence or drug trafficking
crime (including a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime that provides
for an enhanced punishment if committed by the use of a deadly or dangerous
weapon or device) for which the person may be prosecuted in a court of the
United States, uses or carries armor piercing ammunition, or who, in
furtherance of any such crime, possesses armor piercing ammunition, shall, in
addition to the punishment provided for such crime of violence or drug
trafficking crime or conviction under this section--

`(A) be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years; and

`(B) if death results from the use of such ammunition--

`(i) if the killing is murder (as defined in section 1111), be punished by
death or sentenced to a term of imprisonment for any term of years or for
life; and

`(ii) if the killing is manslaughter (as defined in section 1112), be
punished as provided in section 1112.'.

(c) Study and Report-

(1) STUDY- The Attorney General shall conduct a study to determine whether a
uniform standard for the testing of projectiles against Body Armor is
feasible.

(2) ISSUES TO BE STUDIED- The study conducted under paragraph (1) shall
include--

(A) variations in performance that are related to the length of the barrel of
the handgun or center-fire rifle from which the projectile is fired; and

(B) the amount of powder used to propel the projectile.

(3) REPORT- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act,
the Attorney General shall submit a report containing the results of the
study conducted under this subsection to--

(A) the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary of the
Senate; and

(B) the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary of the
House of Representatives.

Passed the Senate July 29, 2005.


Attest:


Secretary.


109th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 397


AN ACT


To prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against
manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition
for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their
products by others.

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beerslurpy
August 1, 2005, 11:38 PM
I thought nothing got tacked on. What the hell is this?

Everyone email the GOA and NRA immediately. How come EVERY bill like this gets something horrible tacked on and the republican majority does absolutely nothing to stop it?

gc70
August 1, 2005, 11:40 PM
922(a) is nothing more than nominal rewording of the existing statute.
922(b) is new.
922(c) is Larry Craig's antidote to Ted Kennedy's proposed amendment.

re 922(c):
37. S.AMDT.1645 to S.397 To regulate the sale and possession of armor piercing ammunition, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Craig, Larry E. [ID] (introduced 7/29/2005) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 7/29/2005 Senate amendment agreed to. Status: Amendment SA 1645 agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay. 87 - 11. Record Vote Number: 216.

beerslurpy
August 1, 2005, 11:43 PM
It doesnt redefine armor piercing ammunition, but there is too much overlap between intermediate rifle and large pistol ammunition for my comfort.

ajkurp
August 1, 2005, 11:48 PM
This smells like Idaho's back stabbing, NRA Board residing, senator- Larry Craig. He tried to get this as an amendment on the bill last year. And largely because of this language's inclusion, it was rejected by a loud majority of citizens.

But pond scum always rises.

rick_reno
August 1, 2005, 11:54 PM
I'm not worried, with Bush in the White House and Gonzales as AG there is NO WAY the ATF would or could use this to hassle gun owners.

Libertyteeth
August 1, 2005, 11:55 PM
This part is interesting:

"(2) ISSUES TO BE STUDIED- The study conducted under paragraph (1) shall
include--

(A) variations in performance that are related to the length of the barrel of
the handgun or center-fire rifle from which the projectile is fired; and

(B) the amount of powder used to propel the projectile."

Wonder what kind of regulations they might have in mind that might follow from this "study"?

ajkurp
August 1, 2005, 11:56 PM
Rick- that was sarcasm, right? Right? RIGHT?

javafiend
August 1, 2005, 11:57 PM
I'm not worried, with Bush in the White House and Gonzales as AG there is NO WAY the ATF would or could use this to hassle gun owners

Eventuallya Democrat will occupy the White House, and then...who knows? Same thing with all that anti-terrorist 'Patriot Act" crap. Maybe you trust Bush, but powers accumulated by fedgov are rarely surrended, and inevitably abused.

sumpnz
August 2, 2005, 12:05 AM
I honestly don't think that study is anything to worry about. All it's calling for is a study to determine what, if any, objective means can be used to calculate the armor piercing capabilities of any ammo might be, taking into account all the variables involved (type of gun, barrel length, powder charge, etc). That and increased penalties for the use of AP ammo in the commission of a crime.

Considering that it helped keep the Hero of Chappaquidick's rifle ammo ban out the bill. May not have made it in anyway, but it might have convinced a few Senators to vote against Swimmer's ammendment and still be able to say they voted to toughen the .gov's stance on AP ammo.

Third_Rail
August 2, 2005, 12:23 AM
Well, isn't that grand. Just a tiny amendment here that noone notices, one there too, etc. and suddenly the "Lawsuit Reform" turns into "Slash through the 2nd Amendment, replace with 'Ha-Ha'."

Fletchette
August 2, 2005, 01:34 AM
WTFH?!?

The Repubs are in full control - why the BS compromise?!?

:cuss: :fire: :mad:

ny32182
August 2, 2005, 01:44 AM
Rick, I hope that was sarcastic. The wonderful AG was the one that pushed for the new barrel ban, as I understand it.

Better believe Bush will use any laws he wants to hassle anyone he wants. The Repubs aren't pro-gun; they just aren't quite as openly anti as the Dems.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 2, 2005, 09:44 AM
The Craig Amendment does ONLY two things:

1) It calls for the Attorney General to conduct a study to determine whether a uniform standard for the testing of projectiles against Body Armor is feasible.

2) It enhances the penalties for using AP ammo in crime.

This amendment was put up as an alternative to Kennedy's amendment that banned most centerfire ammo. It was supported by every pro-gun Senator in the Senate, including the 30 who were so hardcore they even voted against the trigger-lock amendment.

Tom Coburn - the Senator GOA called "the most important Senate election of 2004" and who was GOAs top endorsed candidate in the Senate voted "YES" to this amendment.

The people who are agitating against this amendment are on the same side as the following 11 Senators who also supported killing it (http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00217):

Akaka (D-HI)
Boxer (D-CA)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Feingold (D-WI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Reed (D-RI)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Wyden (D-OR)

I'm not worried, with Bush in the White House and Gonzales as AG there is NO WAY the ATF would or could use this to hassle gun owners.

Well, since the bill gives absolutely no statutory authority to the ATF that it does not already have, you are pretty much correct on this.

Look folks, it takes 60 votes to get any legislation that is remotely controversial through the Senate; because without 60 votes, the bill can be filibustered and never receive an up or down vote.

Senator Craig crafted a pretty effective compromise that not only did nothing to affect legitimate gun-owners, it allowed the pro-gun side to form the study and determine who will be studying this important issue (will it be a John Lott or will it be a David Hemenway?).

Once more, every single pro-gun Senator in the U.S. Senate voted for this bill. Now we can either choose to believe they all acted in unison to stab us in the back in an evil Bildeberger/Freemason/Zionist/ conspiracy or we can take the wacky approach that maybe 30 strongly pro-gun U.S. legislators may have good reasons to do what they did.

Sam Adams
August 2, 2005, 11:55 AM
Did anyone consider that this addition to the main bill may get tossed when the bill goes to the Conference Committee? If that happens, then the Senate will have to vote up or down on the main bill alone, and NO additions will be possible at that point.

I am not real happy about the language - not at all - but the fact that the worst of the Senate hoplophobes voted against this language is encouraging.

BTW, I wonder where DiFi was. Not that I really care about her, but she's usually leading the charge to limit/eliminate guns, ammo or laws designed to protect our rights to own and use them.

Henry Bowman
August 2, 2005, 11:58 AM
Any chance this will get stripped out in committee (i.e., not in House version) and sent back to the Senate without it? If so, can we get it through the Sebate again (w/o cling-ons)? If not, will the House swallow this amendment?

Kurush
August 2, 2005, 12:53 PM
Yes, there is a good chance at least some of the amendments will go away in conference committee. No, the Senate can't re-amend it, they can only accept it or send it back.

Jay Kominek
August 2, 2005, 01:09 PM
922(a) is nothing more than nominal rewording of the existing statute.
I don't know that this was made quite clear enough.
The AP ban on manufacture has been there for years.
Take a look at: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=18&sec=922 to see what the law says right now.

Poodleshooter
August 2, 2005, 03:26 PM
It calls for the Attorney General...
I interpreted that as being BATFE (now in Justice)conducting the study.
That's what gave me the shudders....
I don't want ANYTHING getting reinterpreted by anybody in the current climate. I don't particularly see anyone in Congress being very friendly to my interests, which lie in decreasing or eliminating the body of law concerning armor piercing ammunition. More study is likely to mean more laws,not less IMHO. Either that, or it will allow for more "interpretation" by a BATFE technical branch that for some funny reason always seems to rule against our version of the "spirit of the law".

Fletchette
August 2, 2005, 08:09 PM
OK, having read all of sect. 6 and comparing it to what is already law in 922, I am a little less upset. But it begs a question, why strike sections a and b and replace it with nearly identical wording? I tried to imagine could possibly change in these two sections, but it appears that the changes are irrelevant. It makes me suspicious...

Also, I am suspicious of the "study", but at least it is non-binding at this point.

:scrutiny:

ctdonath
August 2, 2005, 08:28 PM
Incrementalism.

The definition of "armor piercing" apparently does not change from the long-entrenched ban on REAL armor-piercing ammo (think hardened steel, not thick clothing).

Unfortunately, it establishes precident to blur the line between black-tip high-power ammo and anything that goes thru a few dozen layers of Kevlar. This starts pulling for the "dumbing down" of "armor piercing", drawing attention to the fact that a cheesy little standard lead-core .223 punches thru any police vest - giving more ammo for the anti's to ban.

Bad move.

beerslurpy
August 2, 2005, 09:42 PM
Armor piercing rifle rounds have never been banned, only handgun rounds.

The whole concept is stupid- rifle rounds defeat all vests, pistol rounds rarely defeat any that are made properly. They either have to ban all rifles or they have to drop the stupid idea.

Since there are a lot less gun-grabbers than there are people with rifles in this country, I vote that we drop the stupid idea.

If the whole idea is to save the lives of cops, they should disarm them. Many times more cops are killed with their own guns than are killed with rifles or armor piercing bullets of any type.

ctdonath
August 2, 2005, 10:37 PM
Armor piercing rifle rounds HAVE been banned (with small loopholes).
Details at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist/ap_ammo.txt

The upshot is that there is much confusion over what constitutes "armor piercing" which varies from issue to issue. The law regulates ammo which seems capable of penetrating hardened steel armor; do not confuse this with laws (actual or proposed) restricting stuff that penetrates soft body armor. It is this confusion which the above-noted bill takes advantage of to promote a stupid agenda.

US law 921(a) restricts, practically unto prohibition, BULLETS which are essentially all tungsten alloy, steel, iron, bronze, brass, copper, or uranium (see law for exact details). Powder, cartridge, etc. are irrelevant, as is the actual ability to penetrate anything - the law defines an item, gives it the label "armor piercing", and severely limits the manufacture & sale thereof. This is what is often termed "black tip" bullets.

Before arguing about what is or isn't regulated as "armor piercing", read the link provided above. The issue is severely obfuscated, and most people don't understand what is being discussed.

beerslurpy
August 2, 2005, 10:44 PM
I know about the risks of chambering pistols in intermediate rifle rounds. Most of those "pistols" are really just SBRs without the hassle.

I think it is BS that any 308 rounds were banned since those are quite obviously not pistol cartidges.

The law needs to go, but clearly our representatives lack the constitution to do so.

The Real Hawkeye
August 2, 2005, 10:50 PM
Outlawing armor piercing ammo certainly defeats the central purpose of the Second Amendment, i.e., that of maintaining a balance between the armed citizenry and armed agents of the Federal Government.

beerslurpy
August 2, 2005, 10:57 PM
Its all nonsense anyway since mild steel was used as a cost-cutting measure rather than as a penetration enhancer. The bullets dont penetrate any better than lead core projectiles.

The truth is that the real blow to the 2nd came in 68 with the banning of destructive devices and the regulation of explosives ownership. Defeating personal armor is orders of magnitude easier than destroying armored vehicles. Indirect fire (both in the sense of mortars and of IEDs) is orders of magnitude more effective in an insurrection than direct fire.

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