Gun owners across the country may be greatly impacted if David Chipman’s nomination for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is confirmed. The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently deadlock 11-11 on advancing Chipman’s nomination to the Senate. To advance the nomination, Sen. Chuck Schumer would have to hold two full-senate votes: one to discharge the nomination from the Senate Judiciary Committee and another on whether to confirm the paid anti-gun advocate nominee.
Read more below on why Chipman’s past makes him a non-ideal pick for director of the ATF.
From the NRA-ILA:
Chipman is a Paid Gun Control Lobbyist
Following his time as an ATF agent, in 2012 Chipman went to work for billionaire gun control financier Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). In 2014, the group, along with Moms Demand Action, were rolled into Bloomberg’s overarching gun control organization – Everytown for Gun Safety.
At present, Chipman is a “senior policy advisor” at gun control group Giffords (formerly Americans for Responsible Solutions and Legal Community Against Violence).
Chipman’s Employer Denies that the Second Amendment Protects an Individual Right
In 2008, Giffords component Legal Community Against Violence argued in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms. The group’s amicus brief is still available on the Giffords website.
In 1998, former LCAV Legal Director Juliet Leftwich wrote in a piece for the San Francisco Chronicle titled, “2nd Amendment Argument Is Myth,” that described the notion that the Second Amendment precluded certain gun control measures as “NRA propaganda.”
Chipman Supports a Ban on Semi-automatic Rifles with Detachable Magazines
Chipman and Giffords have made clear that they support a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
During his May 26 confirmation hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) asked the nominee, “Mr. Chipman you have called for an assault weapon ban. I have a simple question for you. What is an assault weapon?” After some evasion from Chipman, Sen. Cotton reiterated his question, which resulted in the following exchange.
Sen. Cotton: What is an assault weapon? How would you define it if you were the chair, the head of the ATF, how have you defined it over the last several years in your role as a gun control advocate?
Chipman: Senator, um if I’m confirmed as ATF director um you know my recollection is the only um process by which ATF has weighed in is I know there’s a demand letter three program which requires multiple reports, multiple sale reports on the southwestern border. ATF in that program has ATF in that program has defined an assault rifle as any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22…
Chipman’s answer endorsed a wildly broader definition of “assault weapon” than the one included in the 1994 Clinton ban or Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) subsequent gun ban legislation that would include any semiautomatic rifle above .22 caliber capable of accepting a detachable magazine, regardless of the rifle’s configuration.
Chipman Would Force Law-abiding Gun Owners to Register Their Firearms
Under Chipman and his employer’s preferred policy, gun owners in possession of firearms that meet the nominee’s broad definition of “assault weapon” would only be allowed to keep their property if they register their firearms with the federal government and pay a $200 tax for the privilege.
In October 2018, Chipman argued in favor of subjecting all AR-15s and potentially all semi-automatic rifles to regulation under the National Firearms Act – treating these common firearms like machine guns. Beyond the problems of subjecting the most popular rifle in America to punitive taxation and registration, such a move would likely lead to a decade long backlog in NFA registrations, effectively banning America’s rifle, firearm suppressors, and other firearms currently subject to NFA regulation.
Chipman has a Troubling History at ATF
According to a June 22 article from the Daily Caller, “David Chipman, told Sen. Ted Cruz in writing that he received two Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints during his 15 years as a manager with the ATF.” For those unfamiliar with the commission, according to the EEOC’s website,
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, transgender status, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
Moreover, the outlet reported on an allegation from “a former ATF agent who personally witnessed Chipman making [a] derogatory comment after reviewing results for candidates who had passed an assessment to become an assistant special agent in charge.” Citing a watchdog group in contact with the former agent, the Daily Caller reported that “the former ATF agent recalled Chipman saying: ‘Wow, there were an unusually large number of African American agents that passed the exam this time. They must have been cheating.’”
In Mid-June, Fox News reported that four U.S. Senators—Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Judiciary ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)— each asked, in writing, whether Chipman had “ever misplace(d) or (had) his [duty] firearm stolen?”
According to a June 10 article from The Federalist, “a group familiar with the situation that spoke to his former colleagues told GOP senators” of the circumstance. The item went on to note,
“We were told multiple times by his former colleagues that he had lost his service weapon,” Tom Jones, co-founder of (the American Accountability Foundation), said in an interview. “We shared this information with the Senate, who has taken up the matter. Often a federal employee’s personnel file is made available to the Senate and would clear this and other disciplinary matters up. This week, Chipman refused the Senate’s request to provide his personnel file, which raises questions on this matter and what else he is hiding.”
Chipman denied the allegation.
Please contact both of your United States Senators and ask them to vote against David Chipman.
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