Gun Groups Celebrate Defeat of Proposed ATF Ammo Ban

Express concern about future gun control

Green tip, M855 5.56mm ammunition. / AP

Gun rights groups celebrated the defeat of a proposed ban on a popular form of ammunition commonly used in AR-15 rifles Tuesday.

"The announcement that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will suspend its proposed framework to ban M855 ammunition validates the NRA’s assertion that this effort was nothing more than a political maneuver to bypass Congress and impose gun control on the American people," the National Rifle Association (NRA) said in a press release. The group described its actions opposing the ban, including directing its 5 million members to contact the ATF and organizing a letter from lawmakers critical of the agency's proposal, as "instrumental in stalling the Obama Administration’s initial attempt to ban commonly used ammunition."

"This was a significant victory for our five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country," Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, said.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), who recently launched several hundred thousand dollars worth of ads against the proposed ban, touted its role in the ban as well.

"We are delighted to have been a part of the effort to stop this proposal in its tracks," SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb said in a press release. "The grassroots responded to a serious threat, and the negative reaction on Capitol Hill from both the House and Senate–no doubt spurred by constituent calls and letters–have, at least for now, put the brakes on a bad idea.

However, both groups expressed concern that the ATF may not be finished trying to implement new gun restrictions.

"We are encouraging the nation’s gun owners to remain vigilant," SAF's Gottlieb said in the release. "Our initial radio and television advertisements will run through this week, reminding grassroots activists that the Obama administration is not likely to abandon its gun control efforts."

"Frankly, this may just be the end of Round One."

"Today’s announcement proves what we have said all along–this was 100 percent political," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne La Pierre said in the group's release. "President Obama failed to pass gun control through Congress, so he tried impose his political agenda through executive fiat. But every gun owner in America needs to understand Barack Obama’s hatred of the Second Amendment has not changed."

"Make no mistake: This fight is not over. We will remain vigilant and continue to fight against President Obama’s attempt to dismantle the Second Amendment."

"This is a great victory, but the battle is not over," SAF's Gottlieb said in his group's release. "The Obama administration will try to rework this ban proposal and we will see it back sooner than later. Now is the time to double our efforts and drive a permanent stake through the heart of any ammo ban."