Rep. Engel Calls for Rules for Armor-Piercing Firearms

Rep. Engel Calls for Rules for Armor-Piercing Firearms


PLEA Act would ban dangerous armor-piercing weapons

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Eliot Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a senior member of New York Congressional delegation, called today for common-sense reforms to keep armor-piercing firearms off our streets.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) proposed common-sense rules to limit the sale of armor-piercing ammunition. ATF’s plans were scuttled this week by fierce opposition by a gun industry lobby determined to do everything in its power to roll back any and all restrictions on firearms sales.

The proposed ATF rules would have restricted the sale of a specific class of armor-piercing bullet – the small caliber, .223-derived, 5.56x45mm NATO “green tip” round, commonly used in AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles. But, as ATF pointed out in their proposal, these “green tip” rounds can be easily loaded into easily-concealed handguns.

“In a time of heightened threats against law enforcement, it really is disgraceful that the gun industry would fight so hard to protect their ability to sell armor-piercing bullets,” Congressman Engel said.  “Threats against our police and soldiers are more and more pronounced. We really should be doing everything we can to help protect them, and regulating weapons designed specifically to kill people in body armor – to kill cops and military personnel – should be an obvious step.”

In the coming weeks, Congressman Engel will reintroduce his Protect Law Enforcement Armor (PLEA) Act, which would expand regulation of armor-piercing ammunition and firearms, provide for the ongoing regulation of new weapons that might penetrate body armor, and ban the FN Herstal Five-seveN, an easily-concealed Belgian weapon purpose-built to fire armor-piercing rounds from a small handgun. The Five-seveN is known across Latin America as the “mata policia” – the cop killer – for its popularity among drug cartels and its ability to penetrate police armor. Convicted killer Nidal Hasan used the Five-seveN in his shooting spree at Fort Hood in 2009.

“It is long past time that we restrict access to these incredibly dangerous weapons,” Congressman Engel said. “I ask my colleagues in Congress to agree, and to ignore the call of the gun industry.”