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Clinton Attempting to Ban Guns
by Banning Bullets

On June 30, 1995, President Bill Clinton made the following statements while receiving the Abraham Linclon Courage Award at 15th District Police Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

Referring to the recent, fatal shooting of Chicago police officer Daniel Doffyn, Clinton said

[A]s we remember Officer Doffyn, I say there is at least one more thing we must do. Today I am announcing support for legislation that will ban armor-piercing bullets of all kinds. ...

[W]e do ban some kinds of armor-piercing bullets ... but ... the law is written ... in the wrong way ... based on what it's made of. ... (that's) not good enough because clever people have figured out how to design ammunition made from common materials that do just as much damage. ... "This legislation will change that. It will see to it that we judge ammunition not based on what it's made of, but based on how much harm it can do. That should be the test, and the test should be simple and straightforward. If a bullet can rip through a bulletproof vest like a knife through hot butter, then it ought to be history. We should ban it. ... (I ask you to help me) "oppose their [NRA's] efforts to keep us from getting all these horrible police-killing bullets out of our lives. ...

Points to Remember

  • Clinton's notion that the current "armor-piercing ammunition" law, enacted in 1986 and added to in 1994, is too weak because "clever people" have designed new ammunition with additional armor piercing abilities, is sheer nonsense, as definitively demonstrated by the recent, nationally-broadcast expose of the "Black Rhino" hoax swallowed hook-line-and-sinker by anti-gun politicians and their allies in the media. Indeed, Officer Daniel Doffyn, whose death Clinton is shamelessly trying to use for his own political purposes, was not killed because a bullet penetrated his protective vest. According to a Chicago Police Department spokesman, one of the bullets that killed Officer Doffyn struck him in the head, while a second bullet entered an opening in his vest -- it didn't defeat the material of the vest.
  • President Clinton is attempting to resurrect an approach to banning ammunition that the Congress considered and rejected in the mid-1980s when it enacted the first "armor piercing ammunition" law. The previously-rejected approach proposed today by the president, would ban virtually all commonly used rifle ammunition, and a great deal of handgun ammunition, commonly used by law- abiding hunters and target shooters, and by people who own firearms for self-defense against criminals.

In 1986, Congress adopted the approach that Clinton now criticizes, an approach that the original sponsor of the "armor piercing" ammunition legislation, Rep. Mario Biaggi, a highly decorated police officer who had been wounded in the line of duty, said "was no compromise on the part of police safety."

  • Clinton's approach would ban virtually all rifle ammunition used for hunting, target shooting, or self-protection in the United States, such as .30-30 Winchester, .30-'06 Springfield, .308 Winchester, .300 Savage, 7mm Remington, .270 Winchester, .257 Roberts, .243 Winchester and .223 Remington, to name just a few.
  • Clinton's approach would ban most handgun ammunition, including that which is used for hunting, target shooting and self- protection, such as .45 Colt and Auto Colt, .44 Remington, .44 Smith and Wesson Special, .41 Remington, .357 Smith and Wesson, 9mm Luger, and many .38 Special loads, to name just a few.
  • About the only ammunition that would not be banned is .22 Rimfire ammunition, several outdated rifle cartridges, such as .25-20 Winchester and .32-20 Winchester, and several lower-powered handgun cartridges, such as .25 and .32 caliber (which anti-gun activists have for years claimed, albeit incorrectly, that criminals favor.)
  • The real problem is the criminal. During the last ten years, 73% of those involved in officer killings had prior criminal arrests, 56% had been convicted of criminal offenses, and 23% were actually on parole or probation when the officers were killed. (Source: FBI, "Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted, 1993")
  • The problem is not bullets that defeat the protective material of body armor vests. During the last ten years, 70% of the police officers who have been fatally shot were not even wearing their protective vests, according to the FBI. In fact, less than 2% of the officers feloniously killed in the line of duty during the last ten years were killed because a bullet penetrated their protective vests. A police officer is 30 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than be killed because of a bullet penetrating his or her vest. (Source: FBI, "Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted, 1993")

The National Institute of Justice has found that "many (officers) who possess body armor do not use it routinely." ("Selection and Application Guide to Police Body Armor, 1989")

NRA-ILA Research and Information Division, July 7, 1995

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