There is dancing in the streets in Fudd land, for there is a plethora of articles insisting that the M855 ammo ban is dead. Fudd triumphalism aside, the ATF only promised that it “will not at this time seek to issue a final framework” implementing a proposed ban on what it’s still insisting is “armor piercing ammunition.”
Now there is no doubt that, as the New York Times reports, "The turnabout by the agency is a victory for Republican lawmakers and gun rights organizations like the National Rifle Association, which sent out urgent alerts to its members warning them of the attempt to ban the bullets."That the antis are reduced to mere sneering such as this is a token of the victory:
“The NRA and the corporate gun lobby gathered their blogger pals around the electronic campfire to tell eerie ghost stories about a potential gun ban, even though this was a simple rule-change proposal to protect the lives and safety of law enforcement officers,” said Jonathan Hutson, chief communications officer for the Brady Campaign.
Bob Barr writes that this was "A bridge too far." That is undoubtedly true. The question is what long-term effect does it have.
While arguments are correct that M855 ball ammo does not meet ATF’s own definition of “armor piercing,” the larger point, that there is no legitimate authority to impose such criteria in the first place, is being missed. So when ATF declares they’ll be back, until such time as that usurpation is addressed and resolved, it’s prudent to believe they will be, at the first political opportunity.
Indeed, my sources tell me that the ATF backed off in order to preserve their right to regulate all ammunition, which some legislators had threatened to remove from their purview. Bet on it, they'll be back.