The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is at it again. After backing off of its proposed ban on 5.56 M855 “green tip” ammunition popular in the AR-15 rifle a few months ago while it “re-evaluates its position” following the tens of thousands comments it received, the ATF has now set its sights on a new target – the M992 40mm infrareds flare and M781 training practice rounds. For those that might not be familiar with these particular types of ammo, the M992 is a parachute illumination flare and the M781 is a plastic, orange colored chalk filled projectile, both fired from a grenade or flare launcher.
The ATF has reclassified these as “low explosives” even though neither has any explosive components nor properties. The logic the ATF uses to support this move is that historically, the ATF has held that .50 caliber or smaller ammunition is small arms ammunition and exempt from federal regulations regarding explosives. Since, however, these particular rounds are larger than .50 caliber, they are not small arms ammunition and are therefore regulated explosives subject to the requirements of 27 CFR, Part 555 – Commerce in Explosives. Federal law 27 CFR 555.141(a)(4) generally exempts small arms ammunition from this regulation, but 27 CFR 555.111 defines this exempted ammunition as “small arms ammunition.” Therefore, this new classification will apply to any ammunition greater than ½ in diameter, regardless of its explosive or non-explosive qualities.
As a result of this re-classification, anyone possessing this ammunition must hold a federal explosives license and have an approved storage bunker. So the ATF has been obtaining the names of persons purchasing these munitions from dealers and are sending agents around to confiscate these previously legal rounds.
This appears to be another attempt at gun control without first seeking congressional approval. Today’s targets are destructive device owners. There’s no telling who will be the next target of the whims of an agency out of control.
It’s enough to make your head explode – but then the ATF would classify you as an explosive device and you would have to have a license to exist.
How long before agents show up at your door to confiscate ammunition the government no longer wants you to have? Or worse, your guns.