Feds abandon plan to ban popular rifle ammo

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is abandoning plans to ban a popular type of rifle ammunition after an onslaught of criticism from both the public and lawmakers.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says the agency received more than 80,000 public comments on the proposal to outlaw some types of 5.56 mm rounds, or .223 caliber. The agency says the comments were overwhelmingly critical of the proposal.

Hundreds of lawmakers, including 52 U.S. senators, also objected.

The ATF had proposed banning some types of ammunition used in the popular AR-15-style rifles that could penetrate a police officer’s protective vest if fired from a handgun.

Armor-piercing handgun ammunition has been banned since 1986 as a way to protect police officers under the federal Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act.