Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky gestures at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., March 14, 2013.
Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Rand Paul’s bold stand for armor-piercing bullets

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has earned a reputation for spinning some pretty wild conspiracy theories, but few issues seem to animate the Republican lawmaker like access to deadly weapons.
 
In 2013, for example, the GOP senator wrote a letter on behalf of a radical gun group in which Paul argued that the United Nations intends to “force” the United States to “CONFISCATE and DESTROY ALL ‘unauthorized’ civilian firearms,” while creating “an INTERNATIONAL gun registry, setting the stage for full-scale gun CONFISCATION.” (The capitalized words originally appeared in Paul’s 2013 fact-free letter; I didn’t capitalize them for emphasis.)
 
In 2012, Paul mistakenly accused gun-toting meteorologists of stockpiling ammunition. In 2014, he, pushed for more firearms in post offices.
 
And in 2015, the Obama administration is considering a proposal to ban armor-piercing “green tip” bullets, originally exempted from a 1986 policy because they were “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.” Now that newer handguns can make use of the ammunition, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is weighing an end to the exemption.
 
Once again, Rand Paul is on the case.
…Paul is urging his supporters to help thwart the move, calling it a “backdoor route to imposing President Obama’s gun control.”
 
“Recently, Obama’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF) announced they will ban .223 M855 ammunition,” Paul wrote in a letter posted to the website of his political action committee, RANDPAC. “The BATF has a March 17th deadline to hear public comments on this outrageous assault on the Second Amendment. And I’m counting on your immediate action to help RANDPAC flood the agency with a message from America’s pro-gun majority.”
The senator added that support from his activist base “played a vital role in defeating President Obama’s national gun registration scheme in 2013.” It’s worth noting that in reality there was no national gun registration scheme and President Obama’s proposal actually did the opposite, prohibiting the creation of a registration.
 
When it comes to policy debates, Rand Paul isn’t detail oriented.
 
As for the White House’s case, Press Secretary Josh Earnest made a straightforward case for the policy at a briefing last week:
“[W]e are looking at additional ways to protect our brave men and women in law enforcement and believe that this process is valuable for that reason alone. This seems to be an area where everyone should agree that if there are armor-piercing bullets available that can fit into easily concealed weapons, that it puts our law enforcement at considerably more risk.
 
“So I’d put this in the category of common-sense steps that the government can take to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans while also making sure that our law enforcement officers who are walking the beat every day can do their jobs just a little bit more safely.”
Watch this space.
 

ATF, Conspiracy Theories and Rand Paul

Rand Paul's bold stand for armor-piercing bullets