Attorney General Ken Paxton and 22 other state attorneys general are urging the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) 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.

“The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed for all Americans and must be vigilantly protected and preserved,” said Attorney General Paxton. “I’m proud to be working with other attorneys general from across the U.S. to fight back against bureaucratic efforts to chip away at this fundamental, indisputable American right.”

After shelving the proposal temporarily, ATF indicated it would continue to take public comment until the close of business on March 16. In a letter submitted to the ATF, Attorney General Paxton 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 attorneys general write. “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.”

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.”

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.

View the letter