A new bill could prevent ATF’s stonewalling of ammunition manufacturers seeking to produce alternative types of ammo. Since 1986, ATF has regulated ammunition composed of brass as “armor-piercing” unless it is designed for hunting or target shooting (the so-called “sporting-purposes” exemption). However, these waivers must be obtained from ATF on a case-by-case basis. The Alternative Ammunition Manufacturing Act (HR 3802), introduced by U.S. Rep. Brian Babin of Texas and 15 cosponsors, would require ATF to issue a ruling within 60 days of receiving a waiver application—otherwise, the application will be automatically granted.
Babin explained that manufacturers’ waiver requests have been routinely delayed or outright ignored, leading to “considerable uncertainty” and slowing development of new products. “Manufacturers looking to comply with the law … should not be given the silent treatment by ATF. Our legislation will hold the ATF accountable for their inaction by requiring a timely and detailed response to all waiver requests,” Babin said.