. . . and on Bullets

By Downey, James T. | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 19, 1995 | Go to article overview

. . . and on Bullets


Downey, James T., St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


So, the issue of cop-killer bullets has come up again. No, the ban on Teflon-coated bullets imposed in the 1980s is still in effect. But some manufacturers of ammunition think they have found a way around the ban, using alternative materials to make a new generation of armor-piercing bullets. This has caused enough concern that President Bill Clinton has asked for legislation to close these loopholes.

Similar legislation was considered by the House Judiciary Committee in July. Initially, the legislation passed, and the performance of bullets rather than the specific materials used to make the bullets would be the relevant criteria. Those bullets that could penetrate modern body armor would be banned. But NRA lobbyists got to two key committee members, changed their minds and their votes. The day after the initial vote, the House Judiciary Committee voted 16-14 to "study the issue," thereby effectively shelving the ban for the foreseeable future.

My dad was a cop in University City. He was killed while investigating a burglary in 1969, before the first generation of modern body armor became widely available. A bullet-proof vest would probably have saved his life.

Body armor has saved a lot of lives in the law-enforcement community since 1969. It has saved a lot of destroyed families. It has given a lot of fathers a second chance to see their kids grow, something my father never had. Bullet-proof vests aren't perfect, but in some situations they literally mean the difference between life and death. These new bullets would change that.

Why does the NRA leadership want to keep this new generation of composite bullets available? Do they hate cops? I don't think so. But listen to the rhetoric coming from the NRA leadership on this issue, and on other issues, and maybe you can see a reason. That reason is paranoia. …

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