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Armor-Piercing Ammunition - Hearing Before the Senate Subcommittee on Criminal Law on S 555, March 7, 1984

NCJ Number
Date Published
150 pages
This hearing considered S. 555, which provides for mandatory prison sentences for criminals convicted of using or carrying armor-piercing ammunition during the commission of Federal felonies and which also prohibits the manufacture, importation, and sale of certain armor-piercing handgun ammunition.
Senators Daniel Moynihan and Edward Kennedy express their support for the legislation; further, Moynihan explains that the sole purpose of armor-piercing bullets is to kill police officers. Kennedy notes that two police officers have already been killed by such bullets, and asks for protection for the families and colleagues of those officers. Representative Mario Biaggi reveals that there are at least eight different foreign and domestic manufacturers that make a handgun cartridge capable of piercing the most popular police vest. Additionally, he describes the availability of such cartridges and emphasizes the need for a Federal law to limit this availability. Warren Cassidy, executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, National Rifle Association (NRA), discusses the NRA's opposition to the legislation, and suggests that S. 555 would be unenforceable because the physical identification of restricted ammunition, as opposed to similar unrestricted ammunition, is virtually impossible. Finally, representatives of three municipal police departments -- Nassau County, New York, Newark, Delaware, and Des Moines, Iowa -- highlight the need for legislation to halt the proliferation of 'cop-killer bullets.'