Three Democrat legislators have proposed a bill to prohibit “armor piercing ammunition.” As is often the case, the devil is in the details. In this case, the entirety of the new legislation is very short and fairly straightforward. The entire text of House Bill 158 states that:

“III. A person is guilty of a class B felony if such person engages in owning, storing, purchasing, selling, distributing, manufacturing or custom-production of any firearm ammunition designed and intended to penetrate armor plating or ballistic vests.”

“…or ballistic vests.”

That is the key part. 

The bill does not define ballistic vests. Thus, the common definition should be used. 

According to the federal government, ballistic vests that are acceptable for use by law enforcement officers for their protection include various models and types of vests and body armor systems. Fortunately, there is a universally standardized rating system for armor:

  • Level 2 armor protects the wearer from centerfire pistol shots such as the ultra-common 9mm cartridge used by millions of Americans in their everyday-carry pistols. 
  • Level 3a armor also protects against large-caliber handgun rounds like 44 magnum. 
  • Level 3 protects against bullets fired from rifles, like 5.56, .308, 7.62, and other common rifle calibers. 
  • Level 4 is supposed to protect the wearer from armor-piercing rifle rounds such as 30-06 Armor Piercing ammo, where the lead bullet has a steel core which could penetrate level 3 plates. 

Therefore, this bill could technically be used by police officers, prosecutors, and courts to punish anyone who “engages in owning, storing, purchasing, selling, distributing, manufacturing” many pistol caliber ammunition and all center-fire rifle ammunition. 

Regardless of how many common calibers this legislation might ban, it should be strongly condemned by anyone who supports liberty or opposes tyranny. Indeed, the founders believed that the citizens should have access to weapons of at least the same power as the government. Of course, this bill would not prohibit police officers, soldiers, and other government officials from using any ammunition, including truly armor-piercing bullets. 

Personally, I would oppose any bill that made it a crime to possess anything, as such bills epitomize the concept of the victimless crime.

The House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee will hold a public hearing on Friday, January 27th to listen to members of the public voice their opinions on HB158. If you want them to vote against this anti-liberty bill, show up to room 206 in the Legislative Office Building at 2:00 on the 27th and tell them how you feel. If you cannot attend the hearing in person, make sure to watch this video to learn how to quickly and easily submit your remote testimony

SPONSORS: Rep. Jones, Ches. 3; Rep. Newell, Ches. 4; Rep. Parshall, Ches. 8

Keep in mind that the anti-liberty progressives like the ones who proposed this bill literally have no clue how ammunition works in the most basic sense; they think the entire cartridge is the projectile:

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Liberty Block or any of its members. We welcome all forms of serious feedback and debate.