Governor Matt Mead criticized a proposal by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to ban certain types of ammunition.
The ban would have limited widely available, inexpensive ammunition commonly used in rifles, including a popular home defense and recreational rifle known as an AR-15. The proposed ban was temporarily withdrawn by the ATF earlier this month.
“This was, in my mind, an attempt at gun control through ammunition control” said Governor Mead. “ATF’s suggestion that only weapons with limited ammunition capacity are for sporting, is incorrect. Even if that were the case, Second Amendment rights exist regardless of a specific purpose for bearing arms.
The ATF allows AR-15’s to be classified as pistols. This classification opened the door for the proposed ban on ammunition that could be fired from an AR-15.
“I am pleased the ATF withdrew this proposal but I remain concerned about its introduction. Executive branch actions that attempt to supersede the role of Congress or ignore Constitutional freedoms cannot go unchallenged,” Governor Mead said.
The ATF withdrew their proposal – citing a need for further study and to analyze the largely negative comments they received.