Tag Archives: Ammo

ATF Just Banned Ammunition – Well Not Really…

The internet is a blaze with articles declaring that ATF just banned ammunition sales as a result of a June 2016 Explosives Newsletter; however, it isn’t exactly true (at least, not anymore). The ATF publishes newsletters which provide insight into complex subjects, shifting policies, and guidance on ATF’s plans to enforce regulations. In the June 2016 Explosives Newsletter ATF ‘clarified’ that Nitrocellulose is a high explosive subject to the requirements of the Safe Explosives Act and other laws governing the sale, storage, and transport of high explosives. You may be thinking – “Well great…but what is Nitrocellulose and what does that have to do with ammo?”

The answer to that is simple – most ammunition used in the United States is powered by smokeless gunpowders. Unlike black powder which is a fairly straight forward mix of chemicals, smokeless powders are proprietary blends of different chemicals each unique to the manufacturer. Unique that is except for the base chemical – Nitrocellulose.

The FBI Laboratory Services explains, “All smokeless powders can be placed into one of three different classes according to the…composition of their primary energetic ingredients. A single-base powder contains NITROCELLULOSE, whereas a double-base powder contains NITROCELLULOSE and nitroglyverine. …[T]riple-base powders are NITROCELLULOSE, nitroglycerine, and nitroguanidine….” Or put another way – If your ammunition uses any type of smokeless powder the odds are that it contains Nitrocellulose.

Okay, okay but what does all this mean? – High explosives are subject to extremely stringent regulations. These regulations mean that not just anyone can manufacture, store, or purchase high explosives. High explosives have to be secured in specialized magazines which are more like a bunker than what you insert into your pistol or rifle. High explosives have to be reported and anyone who manufacturers or sells these items have to be thoroughly subjected to background checks and all of their employees (referred to as “responsible persons”) have to be checked out and licensed. Even within the licensing structure there are different requirements.

If smokeless powders are now considered high explosives then ammunition can no longer be sold on store shelves. Manufacturers need to completely redesign their operations, rebuilding their facilities and ensuring their personnel meet the stringent requirements. Simply put, if ATF intends to enforce this new designation ammunition is going to be almost impossible to acquire.

Fortunately, it seems ATF did exactly what it does best – jump the gun. On August 31, 2016 ATF posted an addendum to their June 2016 newsletter. The addendum is merely one paragraph long and suffices to say:

[C]ontact from industry members…has brought to our attention issues that were not fully addressed…and require further consultation and consideration with the industry. Accordingly, ATF has and will conduct further industry outreach….”

In other words, someone at ATF received a question about Nitrocellulose and never stopped to think about the implications of clarifying it as a high explosive. Thankfully, at this time, ATF has concluded, “[i]n the interim, previously authorized industry practices concerning wetted Nitrocellulose will not be affected.

We here at Prince Law Offices and the Firearms Industry Consulting Group will be sure to update you as ATF releases more information.


Filed under Uncategorized

Celebrating the ATF’s Decision Regarding SS109/M855 Ammunition? NOT SO FAST…

While many organizations are celebrating the putative victory in relation to the ATF’s announcement of earlier today that it would “not at this time seek to issue a final framework”, Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG), a division of Prince Law Offices, P.C., would caution our viewers and the Firearms Industry that ATF can likely, at any time, seek to move forward with a final framework without any further notice or comment.

Today, ATF posted on its website:

Notice to those Commenting on the Armor Piercing Ammunition Exemption Framework

Thank you for your interest in ATF’s proposed framework for determining whether certain projectiles are “primarily intended for sporting purposes” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(C). The informal comment period will close on Monday, March 16, 2015. ATF has already received more than 80,000 comments, which will be made publicly available as soon as practicable.

Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study. Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework.

As ATF’s original Notice of Proposed Framework likely constituted a procedural rule, it was not likely subject to the notice-and-comment procedures under the Administrative Procedural Act, except for the ammunition specifically addressed. This may be why ATF erred on the side of caution in permitting comments but did not notice such comment period in the Federal Register. Regardless, ATF opened the door by permitting comments through March 16, 2015, and it is imperative that all individuals and entities that desire to comment on its proposed framework submit comments in opposition before the close of the comment period on Monday, March 16th. Contrary to ATF’s statement, as has been consistently reflected under the current Administration, an open and transparent process is anything but what has been provided, as will be further explained in FICG’s Comment in opposition. Further, although ATF states that it will further study the issues raised, assuming any framework constitutes a procedural rule, with the exception of the ammunition specifically addressed, ATF could move forward without any further notice or comment period.

It is for these reason that FICG believes it is imperative that all interested parties continue to submit their comments in opposition to the proposed framework through Monday, March 16th. In the next coming days, FICG will submit and post its extensive Comment regarding the proposed framework to ensure that all relevant and pertinent issues are raised and preserved, in protection of the Firearms Industry and the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


Filed under ATF, Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

How will today’s sanctions against Russia impact Firearm’s owners?

In a press conference earlier today, the President announced new sanctions to be imposed against those deemed responsible and also providing support for the current crisis in the Crimea.

The President stated:

Today, I’m announcing a series of measures that will continue to increase the cost on Russia and on those responsible for what is happening in Ukraine.  First, as authorized by the executive order I signed two weeks ago, we are imposing sanctions on specific individuals responsible for undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity and government of Ukraine.  We’re making it clear that there are consequences for their actions.

Second, I have signed a new executive order that expands the scope of our sanctions.  As an initial step, I’m authorizing sanctions on Russian officials — entities operating in the arms sector in Russia and individuals who provide material support to senior officials of the Russian government.  And if Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, we stand ready to impose further sanctions.

Now that’s bound to cause a lot of potential confusion and concern. However, let’s first take look at the text of the new Executive Order that might be most germane to firearms owners (and which has been bolded).

Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person (including any foreign branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:

(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order; and

(ii) persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:
(A) to be an official of the Government of the Russian Federation;  (B) to operate in the arms or related materiel sector in the Russian Federation;(C) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly: (1) a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation; or (2) a person whose property and interests  in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or (D) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in  support of: (1) a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation; or (2) a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

This is then followed with another paragraph that specifically calls back to Section B (the arms section), the text of which reads:

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in
regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued  pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.

The text seems to indicate that anything that has already been granted a licence or permit for importation will still be allowed in. At the moment, it’s important to realize that the sanctions against the Russian arms industry are being imposed at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury, along with the Secretary of State, so a clear cut guide is not available. Firearms Industry Consulting Group will further analyze these sanctions and their implementation in the coming days and weeks on this blog.

For the moment, we just wanted to give our readers access to the direct text on the matter, so they would not be forced to simply have to read hearsay and uniformed opinions on the issue.


Filed under ATF, Business Law, Constitutional Law, Firearms Law

Winchester recalls certain lots of M-22 22LR ammo!

FICG is always concerned with the well being and  safety of our clients, readers, and the general shooting public. We therefore wanted you to know that you should check out any Winchester 22LR ammo you may have bought or others you know may have bought, as it is being recalled.

Winchester thinks it may have double charged certain lots of 22LR with extra gunpowder when manufacturing the ammunition! For anyone who reloads or knows a little about how ammunition is made or works, they know that a double charged load is an EXTREMELY dangerous and potentially deadly situation for a shooter and those around them. So check those boxes, share the story to your friends and stay safe!

Symbol Number: S22LRT 

Lot Numbers: GD42L and GD52L

Winchester has determined the above lots of 22 Long Rifle rimfire ammunition may contain double powder charges. Ammunition with double powder charges may subject the shooter or bystanders to a risk of serious personal injury and/or death, or cause firearm damage, rendering the firearm inoperable.

DO NOT USE WINCHESTER® M*22™ 22 Long Rifle RIMFIRE AMMUNITION WITH LOT NUMBERS GD42L or GD52L. The ammunition Lot Number is imprinted (stamped without ink) on the left tuck flap of the 500-round carton as indicated here. The 1000-round intermediate carton does not have a Lot Number.

To determine if your ammunition is subject to this notice, review the Symbol Number and Lot Number. If it is Symbol Number S22LRT with a Lot Number containing GD42L or GD52L immediately discontinue use and contact Winchester toll-free at 866-423-5224 or visit http://www.winchester.com/Product-Service/Pages/Contact-Us.aspx for free UPS pick-up of the recalled ammunition.

This notice applies only to Symbol Number S22LRT with Lot Numbers GD42L and GD52L. Other Symbol Numbers or Lot Numbers are not subject to this recall.

If you have any questions concerning this 22 Long Rifle rimfire ammunition recall please call toll-free 866-423-5224, write to Winchester (600 Powder Mill Road, East Alton, IL 62024 Attn: S22LRT Recall), or contact Winchester Customer Support online.


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Filed under Firearms Law