WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) joined 52 of her colleagues in sending a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), calling on the director to reconsider a proposal to place limits on rifle ammunition that is primarily used for sporting purposes. Senator Fischer, a vocal defender of Second Amendment rights, released the following statement this afternoon:

“Gun owners in Nebraska and across the nation have the right to access ammunition. This overreach by the ATF is an attack on the Second Amendment and another example of the federal government overstepping its authority. Americans should not be punished when exercising their right to use firearms in accordance with the law.”

In an interview with The Washington Examiner last week, James Pasco, executive director of the Washington office of the Fraternal Order of Police, noted that this ban is not necessary, stating “any ammunition is of concern to police in the wrong hands, but this specific round has historically not posed a law enforcement problem.” Mr. Pasco went on to say that the round is used mostly for target practice and "is not typically used against law enforcement." 

The new proposal by the ATF would place unnecessary limits on ammunition used by hunters and sports enthusiasts across the country. As Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) noted after leading this letter, this class of ammunition is protected from prohibition under a 1986 Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act exemption. The new framework proposed by the ATF would set arbitrary guidelines for determining whether certain ammunition meets the 1986 law’s “sporting purposes” exemption. As a result, access to rifle ammunition long considered to be primarily used for activities such as target shooting and hunting could be limited.

In a letter to ATF Director Todd Jones, the senators charge that the new framework defies the intent of Congress when it passed the 1986 law. They also question the ATF’s authority to establish such a framework and express concern for its impact on Second Amendment rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

Click here to view the letter to ATF Director Todd Jones.