Police ‘disgusted’ by prez’s claim ‘officer safety’ behind ban
M855 ball ammunition
The White House claim that the ammunition for the popular AR-15 rifle should be banned as part of a “common sense” effort to protect police officers’ lives is being derided by police officers themselves as a shameful lie.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said this week that the .223-caliber M855 ball should be banned because it can penetrate an officer’s soft armor and can be fired not just from sporting rifles but “easily concealable weapons.”
The term “easily concealable” was used to describe the AR-15 handgun. A bulky 6 pounds and 25 inches long, the semi-automatic version of this weapon, with a magazine, would be difficult to conceal, say firearms experts. And it would likely not be the first choice of any street thug or gang member, as it retails for between $1,000 and $2,000.
In fact, gun rights advocates and law enforcement agencies contacted by WND say they have been unable to document a single incident in which a police officer has been taken down by a criminal using an AR-15 handgun in the 20 years since this particular round, the M855 ball, has been exempted from the federal ban on armor-piercing bullets. It was exempted based on its use for sporting purposes.
“We have not been able to find a single instance where a police officer has been shot from this type of handgun using a bullet that pierces his soft-body armor, and if the administration had any examples you know they would be pushing it in everybody’s face to further their executive action,” said Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. “We’ve scoured everywhere, gone into every source possible to try to find an instance of this and have not been able to find one.”
So Earnest’s comments only further infuriated gun owners who were already seeing red over the possibility of losing access to some of the most common ballistics used for sport-target shooting and hunting.
WND polled several large police agencies, looking for evidence that vest-wearing officers have been killed or seriously wounded by this particular form of ammunition fired from a handgun, only to come up empty.
“Not in my jurisdiction,” said Sheriff David Clarke Jr. of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. “We’re doing a search nationwide to see if there’s any data that exists as proof of this comment coming out of the White House but so far we haven’t found anything.”
Clarke said he was skeptical that the White House was really concerned about officer safety.
“I’m disgusted that this administration would use the safety and well-being of our nation’s law enforcement officers to accomplish their gun-control agenda by circumventing the Congress and circumventing the Constitution in rewriting this law,” he said. “That’s all this is. They don’t fool me. No fraternal order of police, no sheriff is going to fall for this.”
Sgt. Dana Pierce, public-information officer for Cobb County, Georgia, Police Department, one of the largest metro Atlanta police agencies, was equally baffled by the need to ban the M855 ball on the basis of protecting officer safety.
In his 34 years in law enforcement, Pierce said he’s never heard of any officer being shot at, or even threatened, by a criminal wielding an AR-15 handgun.
But just to make sure, he checked with the officer in charge of weapons training and weapons collection at his department.
“I haven’t seen any so I called our training range and asked, in all fairness, has anyone ever taken one of those (AR-15 handguns) off the street? The lieutenant there who runs the range said no,” Pierce told WND. “Anytime a weapon like that would be used against an officer there would be an officer-safety bulletin go out and the range would be notified. If there was a situation where either they took one of these off the streets or an officer had been threatened with one of these weapons we would immediately launch an internal memo, and we have never had any of those go out to my knowledge. So for Cobb County police, at this moment, this is not something we are so concerned about.”
Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, also broached the issue during last week’s CPAC convention.
“This is a blatant overreach. Apparently he thinks he can do whatever he wants,” Cox said of Obama. “He can completely do an end-run around Congress. This ammunition was exempted 20 years ago. In 20 years no .223 round has been used in a crime fired from a handgun platform to killed a police officer, or that penetrated a vest.
“So again, it’s not just a solution in search of a problem. It’s a solution to their gun control problem. And that’s what they’re using this for.”
Written by LEO HOHMANN
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