The confirmation hearing for David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is scheduled Wednesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it comes on the heels of a remark by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki that “there is a gun problem” in this country.
The New York Post quoted Psaki in a report on rising gun-related homicides. The newspaper noted, “A study released in February of this year that looked at crime rates in 34 cities of varying size found a 30 percent spike in homicides in 2020 compared to 2019.”
It is likely questions about the rise in homicide numbers will be asked during Chipman’s confirmation hearing. He’s a retired former ATF agent who lately has been employed as a senior policy advisor for the Giffords gun prohibition lobbying group, and the Post says “he has become an outspoken advocate for gun violence prevention.” That translates to being a “gun control advocate.”
“He has advocated for tougher gun laws, including limits on high-capacity magazines and an assault-style weapons ban,” the newspaper said.
Chipman’s nomination has drawn fierce opposition from national gun rights organizations and grassroots rights activists. AmmoLand News Editor-in-Chief Fredy Reihl is urging readers to oppose the nomination. But it underscores the anti-gun philosophy of the Biden-Harris administration. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are both perennial anti-gunners. The president has often boasted about “beating” the National Rifle Association during his Senate career.
NPR is predicting a “brutal” confirmation process for Chipman. Noting his nomination has “garnered strong support from gun control advocates and has drawn fierce opposition from gun rights groups,” there is no guarantee he will eke out a confirmation from the evenly-divided Senate, even with Harris poised to provide a tie-breaking vote should one arise.
Meanwhile, Psaki told reporters Monday that Biden “will continue to advocate for the Senate passing universal background checks, but also advocate for actions in states where we have seen the greatest level of activism over the past several years.”
But the question is whether passage of background check legislation will have any impact on the criminal misuse of firearms. So far, there is no indication it will.
CNN referred to a mass shooting in Cumberland County, New Jersey over the weekend. New Jersey has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, but those laws didn’t prevent the incident, which claimed two lives and left a dozen others injured.
New York City, which also has strict gun control laws, saw 29 people shot over the weekend, CNN reported.