For Release: Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Washington, DC — The firearms industry and gun lobby are fighting a battle of their own creation with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) according to a new report from the Violence Policy Center (VPC), AR-15 and AK-47 Assault Pistols: Rifle Power in a Handgun.
As the report details, ATF recently proposed to ban specific types of AR-15 ammunition and establish a framework to determine whether certain ammunition types are no longer eligible for an exemption from the federal ban on armor-piercing handgun ammunition. This is the direct result of the gun industry’s design and manufacture of AR-15 assault pistols that combine the firepower of a rifle with the increased concealability of a handgun. By creating these pistol versions of assault rifles, the gun industry has predictably triggered the restrictions contained in the federal ban on armor-piercing handgun ammunition.
The ATF is seeking comments until March 16, 2015 on its proposal.
“Gun companies are engaged in a marketing strategy that puts law enforcement directly in the line of fire,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “The industry knew full well that these actions could trigger federal restrictions on specific types of ammunition that are considered armor-piercing when used in a handgun. The ATF proposal is a direct response to a new threat created by the gun industry itself.”
Both AR-15 and AK-47 assault pistols are increasingly being marketed by the firearms industry. Both types use the same ammunition as that of their military-bred rifle counterparts.
The VPC report includes visual examples of AR-15 and AK-47 pistols being marketed in the United States. To view the full report, please visit vpc.org/studies/armor.pdf.