U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today criticized the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) proposal that would severely limit access to rifle ammunition used primarily for sporting purposes. Thune, a long-time champion of gun-rights, made the following statement on the ATF’s guidelines for determining whether certain ammunition meets the 1986 Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act’s “sporting purposes” exemption:
“ATF’s proposal to ban certain types of commonly-used ammo significantly oversteps its statutory authority and infringes on the constitutionally-protected right to bear arms. South Dakotans have long practiced responsible firearm ownership for self-defense and recreation, but limiting access to ammo for these commonly-used firearms could price responsible gun owners out of market—putting the Second Amendment at risk. I take this sort of attack on our right to bear arms seriously and will continue working with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure this Obama administration overreach doesn’t limit the rights of South Dakota gun owners.”Yesterday, Thune joined 51 of his Senate colleagues in sending a letter to ATF Director Todd Jones questioning the agency’s authority to establish guidelines limiting access to certain types of rifle ammunition. This class of ammunition is protected from prohibition under a 1986 Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act exemption.