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March 17, 2015
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Claire Haynes (334) 242-7351
Page 1 of 2


(MONTGOMERY) – Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and 22 other
state Attorneys General have sent a letter to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
and Firearms (ATF) urging the agency to permanently discard a proposed ban on
M855 5.56 x 45mm ammunition. On March 10, ATF shelved the proposal after an
outpouring of opposition, including from the law enforcement community.

“Law enforcement has joined in asserting that this ammunition does not pose
a public safety threat to them, and we know of no situation in which this has been
used against law enforcement in any of our states,” Attorney General Strange said.
“Rather, it is one of the most popular target shooting range rounds, and also is
effectively used by farmers and ranchers to protect their livestock from predators.”

After shelving the proposal, ATF indicated it would continue to take public
comment until the close of business on March 16. In the letter submitted to ATF
yesterday, Attorney General Strange and the other Attorneys General contend that
the proposed ban is arbitrary, unnecessary, and could easily lead to bans on a wide
range of rifle ammunition.

“We applaud your recent decision not to issue a final framework on this
proposal, at least for now, and we strongly encourage you not to revive it,” the letter
states. “We represent our respective states as each state’s Chief Law Enforcement
Officer, and in that role we directly oversee or work directly with numerous federal,
state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies. We, as much as anyone, want to
do the utmost to ensure that our brave men and women that serve in law
enforcement are safe. The proposed ATF ban on M855 5.56 ammunition, however,
does not advance that goal. Instead, it threatens Second Amendment freedoms and
deprives shooting sports enthusiasts of a popular cartridge for a popular rifle.”

501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300
www.ago.alabama.gov Page 2 of 2

The attorneys general highlighted the opposition to the ban voiced by law
enforcement organizations.

“As law enforcement organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police have
recently described, the 5.56 M855 cartridge does not pose a particular threat to law
enforcement. Indeed, we are aware of no examples in our states in which this round
has been used against law enforcement in a concealed weapon.”

In closing, the 23 attorneys general urged ATF “to reject this ill-advised
proposal and uphold the Second Amendment rights of our citizens.”

The letter was signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas,
Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi,
Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South
Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
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