Members in the U.S. House of Representatives have signed a letter stating their opposition to President Barack Obama’s proposal of a ban on certain ammunition used with the AR-15 firearm.
The ammunition in question, the 5.56 M855 “lightgreen tip," is commonly associated with the AR-15 firearm. They are both most commonly used for hunting, target shooting, and other recreational activities.
President Obama has proposed a ban on the ammo, saying he believes it will keep more police officers out of harm’s way. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated the President’s views on Mar. 2.
“We are looking at additional ways to protect our brave men and women in law enforcement, and believe that this process is valuable for that reason alone,” said Earnest.
However, many politicians do not agree with the President’s view. So far, 235 members in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans alike, have signed a letter sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) stating their opposition to the proposed ban and what they believe to be the unjust reasoning and unconstitutionality of the idea.
In the letter, author Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia), who heads the House Judiciary Committee, writes: “Neither LEOPA nor any other provision of federal law is intended to restrict the development of ammunition or handguns that were designed and intended to be used by private citizens for legitimate purposes.”
LEOPA, or the Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act of 1986, was created to ban “armor-piercing” weaponry against police officers. In the past, it has been understood that the AR-15 and its ammunition have been exempt from being banned based on this section of law, until the White House has recently challenged it.
Other critics of the proposed ban have been vocal in recent days. The Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, had some strong words for the President.
“This is a President that hates the Second Amendment, hates the constitutional right of Americans to own firearms," LaPierre said. "He can’t win at the ballot box, he can’t win in Congress, so he’s putting on his dictator’s hat and he’s going to do it by fiat. And we’re not going to let it happen."
Many gun collectors believe that the President’s proposed ban would hurt the popularity of the AR-15 and would then be subject to other weapons and ammunition bans for all firearms in the future.