Gun rights supporters say new regulations won't curb violence

You used to be able to buy the lead, steel-tipped .223 caliber bullets that serve as ammunition for AR-15s and other rifles without trouble.

Not anymore. An 18-page brief quietly released Friday by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says the ammo has no legitimate sporting purpose.

Those who know the difference between a hollow point and a full met jacket beg to disagree.

Some of the concerns have more to do with the weapon than the ammo. AR-15 pistols are just as deadly and easier to conceal than their traditional counterparts.

It's the weapon of the moment for some, with all the power of an assault rifle but more portability. And the ATF admits it's those factors that make them nervous for police on the street.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance's Andrew Rothman says he believes the ATF is overreaching, and that banning a particular kind of ammo won't make citizens or cops safer.

"Nothing gets people more excited about exercising their rights than the threat of having those rights taken away," he says.