If at first you don’t succeed, try try again — but don’t expect to succeed the next time either, if you’re a House Democrat looking to pass an ammunition ban. Democrats on Capitol Hill reacted with dismay and anger after the ATF retreated on a ban on AR-15 ammunition, thanks to an overwhelmingly negative public reaction to the proposal, deciding that the proposal required “further study.” They have drafted a letter to ATF director Todd Jones, demanding that he use his existing authority to ban the ammo anyway, the public be damned:

In a draft letter first obtained by The Hill, Democrats are urging the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to use his “existing authority” to keep “dangerous ammunition out of our communities.”

“We hope that the Bureau will swiftly review comments on the proposed framework and issue a revised proposal that will address the danger posed by handguns that fire 5.56mm and other rifle ammunition,” Democrats write in the letter. …

House Democrats in their letter say they are “very disappointed” that the ATF delayed the rule. The proposal, they say, is true to the spirit of the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act, which Congress passed in 1986 to ensure that officers do “not face extreme safety risk from firearm technology.”

“It is critical to update this legislation as new technologies are developed in order to keep law enforcement officers and our communities safe,” they write. “That is why we urge you not to drag out this delay and to act swiftly to keep armor-piercing ammunition that can be used in handguns off the street.”

Jones blamed the blogosphere for forcing the retreat in a hearing yesterday:

“I want to make sure everyone understands that this was not — contrary to the blogosphere — an effort to completely ban that sort of cartridge,” he said.

If that’s the case, then why did Jones back down? According to the Hill, Jones also didn’t commit to reconsidering the ban either, which doesn’t make a lot of sense if the only obstacle was distortion from opponents in the blogosphere and New Media. After all, the federal government has a fairly substantial platform on which to argue, and a sympathetic ear in traditional media outlets. Here’s a big hint about the accuracy of the gun-control argument on AR-15 ammo:

The supposed “armor piercing” capability of this ammunition was just an excuse, and not a particularly honest one, which is why Jones and the ATF got shamed into retreat. As the letter states, the gun-control advocates in Congress are upset because some handguns can use the same ammunition — which would be true of any 5.56mm rounds. Besides, all of this is just a façade to get what Democrats really want, which is an effective ban on the AR-15 itself, a weapon they routinely demonize as an “assault” rifle. No one’s buying the argument that “oh, it’s just one type of ammunition,” thanks in large part to a long-established pattern of dishonesty from gun-control advocates.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) went one step further and submitted a bill to ban the ammunition, which is about as quixotic as it gets in the GOP-controlled Congress. The only proposal less likely to get a floor vote would be a bill to provide free abortions on demand at any stage of pregnancy:

Well, good luck with that, Democrats. For almost a generation, their party had learned not to provoke gun owners, and they managed to climb back into the White House and Congressional majorities. How’s this new gun-control project working out for Democrats over the last few years, anyway?