Half of States Tell Feds Not to Ban Popular ‘Green Tip’ Ammo

March 18, 2015 Updated: March 18, 2015

Half of America’s 50 state attorneys general are against a possible federal ban on a popular sporting ammunition, the AR-15 “green tip” ammunition. A state attorney general is the highest law enforcement position in a state, and works closely with federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has argued that the ammunition can pierce body armor of police and should be taken off the market. Part of the bullet’s popularity comes from its low price and ability to cleanly and accurately puncture simple targets, such as paper practice targets, making it an ideal ammunition for target practice.

The bullet is most commonly used in the Modern Sporting Rifle (the AR-15).

In a letter to the ATF, attorneys general from states including Wyoming, Alabama, Utah, Ohio, and others said that the rationale for the proposed ban of the sale of the ammunition is flawed.

“ATF’s justification for proposing the ban is arbitrary,” the letter states. It added that the signatories of the letter knew of no instances in their states where the bullet had been used against law enforcement in a concealed weapon.

The ATF has argued that it is possible to use the bullet in a concealable handgun. Yet the attorneys general argue that this is rarely the case and they see no imminent threat to justify depriving sporting enthusiasts of an inexpensive bullet.

“The 5.56 M855 cartridge does not pose a particular threat to law enforcement,” states the letter.

The attorneys general also told the ATF that a ban on M855 ammunition could lead to a prohibition of the sale of a wide range of other types of rifle ammunition. They also labeled it a threat to Second Amendment rights.

The full list of states against the ban includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.