Congressman Adrian Smith is pleased ATF has backed off a move to ban a popular bullet used with AR-15 semi-automatic guns.
Smith says he’s glad ATF has backed off for now, though he quickly adds Congress must remain vigilant about future actions.
“The fact that the administration would move to prohibit such popular recreational ammo, truly, and there didn’t seem to even be public safety concerns, I wonder if the administration was looking to just check the box in terms of some sort of gun control that they could possibly pull off,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network. “And I’m glad that they’ve pulled back.”
ATF says it moved to banned green-tipped M855 ammo, because the 5.56-millimeter bullet can now be used in handguns, which it asserts poses a greater threat to police.
Gun rights advocates say it is the most popular bullet used on the firing range.
ATF submitted its proposed ban February 13th. It withdrew it this week in the face of mounting public criticism as well as increasing pressure from Congress.
Smith says the quick reversal came as a surprise.
“It did surprise me that they did pull back,” Smith says. “I thought they might after, perhaps, a little longer time. But I’m glad that they have and now we need to certainly make sure that they don’t try it again.”
Smith says though ATF has reversed course, he’s not convinced the issue won’t resurface.
“I’m very skeptical these days,” Smith says with a laugh. “There’s such a disregard by the administration for what the legislative branch of government does or what previous presidents have even signed.”
Smith says there is no evidence the ammunition has ever been used to kill a police officer.