Under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), most ammunition made with alternative material is illegal to import, manufacture and sell unless the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) determines it is “primarily intended to be used for a sporting purpose.” In recent years, a number of manufacturers have been working to develop and market new and innovative hunting ammunition comprised of a wide array of metals and alloys. However, many of these cause the ammunition to fail a composition test set forth in the GCA which subjects the products to a ruling by the ATF on their intended use. As a result, at least 32 petitions have been submitted in recent years requesting exemptions for products clearly “intended for a sporting purpose.” Unfortunately, the ATF has given little indication as to when they will process these petitions.
ATF’s refusal to apply the sporting purposes test is resulting in a lack of the certainty needed for many companies to invest in the research and development needed to foster technological advancements in high performance and cost-effective ammunition. If this continues, it will result in the loss of hunters and recreational shooters which will have significant economic impacts.
Recently, Congressman Brian Babin (R-TX) introduced H.R. 3802, the Alternative Ammunition Manufacturing Act of 2015. This legislation would require ATF to respond within 60 days to a petition, and if the petition is not granted, ATF must provide in writing the detailed facts and reasons for the disapproval. If the ATF does not act with 60 days, the projectile would be granted an exemption from classification as armor piercing ammunition.
Please click here to write your congressional representative and ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 3802, the Alternative Ammunition Manufacturing Act of 2015 introduced by Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX).