CPRC in the Pittsburgh Tribune: “Obama’s backdoor ban”

Mar 15, 2015 | Featured


Eric Heyl with the Pittsburgh Tribune conducted this interview with us:

John R. Lott Jr. is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, . . . [an] organization that examines the relationship between laws regulating the ownership or use of guns and crime and public safety. He spoke to the Trib regarding a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives proposal to ban one of the most popular bullets used in AR-15 semiautomatic rifles. . . . .

Q: Why do you think the ATF favors a ban on the “green tip” ammunition used in the AR-15?

A: The Obama administration can’t get things through legislatively, so it just tries to change the laws on its own and then goes and essentially tells people to go and try to stop it.

If you read the existing law, it basically bans ammunition that’s entirely constructed from a group of different types of metals like tungsten, alloyed steel, iron, brass, bronze and so on. What the Obama administration wants to do is say, well, even if you have a portion of these type of things, even if maybe 15 percent of the ammunition is made out of this, we are going to ban it.

I think they just want to make it more costly for people to buy ammunition. (Green tips) are relatively cheap ammunition for the AR-15. That’s maybe one of the reasons why they picked it.

Q: Do you believe that constitutes an attempt at executive-action gun control?

A: I don’t think there is any doubt. The original law is very clear. It uses the words saying “constructed entirely from a list of certain types of metals,” and that’s simply not true of the bullets they are talking about banning.

If the Obama administration thinks it can make a good case (for a ban), it should go to Congress and try to convince Congress that it’s a good case. The argument being made right now is that this is being done to protect law enforcement, but nobody claims that the bullets have been a significant threat to law enforcement.

If you look at the data, over the past 10 years there have been 510 policemen murdered. Zero have been killed with (green tips). There is no evidence that I’m aware of that they’ve even been shot at with the type of ammunition (there’s talk of) banning here.

Q: How concerned do you think the average gun owner should be over this attempt to essentially legislate without involving any legislators? . . .

The rest of the interview is available here.