The Senate Judiciary reached a stalemate Thursday morning on Joe Biden’s nomination of David Chipman to head the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as the vote was 11 for (Democrats) and 11 against (Republicans) following some fiery rhetoric on why the gun control advocate is not suited to run the firearms regulatory agency.
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the grassroots Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, issued a statement.
“Today’s party-line vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on David Chipman’s nomination to head the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives underscores the toxicity of his choice by Joe Biden to head the agency,” Gottlieb said. “His extremist views on gun ownership, combined with his background as a gun control advocate for the gun prohibition lobby should automatically disqualify him for the position he seeks. CCRKBA will continue to encourage our members and supporters, and millions of honest gun owners to keep contacting their Senate members and urge a ‘No’ vote on his confirmation when it goes before the full Senate.
Jason Ouimet, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, stated, “David Chipman spent the last 10 years unapologetically lobbying for gun control on Capitol Hill and getting paid to do Michael Bloomberg’s bidding. He supports extreme, unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, and today’s party-line vote in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee affirms the reality that he is unfit to lead ATF. While Chipman awaits consideration before the full U.S. Senate, NRA will continue to activate our members and the millions of law-abiding American gun owners across the country to contact their U.S. senators and urge them to vote against his confirmation.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas told the committee, “Mister Chipman…is the manifestation of the promise ‘We’re going to come for your guns.’ Mister Chipman is a gun control zealot.”
Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas called the nominee, a former ATF agent, “an anti-gun radical.”
This was after Committee Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin described Chipman as “a responsible gun owner who has advocated for commonsense, constitutional gun safety measures” who is “uniquely positioned to restore both credibility and accountability” to the agency.
But is that an accurate description? AmmoLand News reported this week that Chipman is under scrutiny over allegations, which he denies, that he once lost a duty firearm while on the job.
This drama is unfolding less than a day after Biden, in a sometimes stumbling delivery, announced his new effort to reduce gun-related crime by cracking down on so-called “rogue dealers.”
But according to Fox News, Biden’s “zero tolerance” policy toward allegedly dishonest gun dealers may not have much veracity.
The cable news agency looked at a 2016 survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics that revealed, “Among prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense, 90% did not obtain it from a retail source” including flea markets and pawn shops. Only about 7 percent of those criminals obtained firearms from licensed retailers and at the time of those transactions, “almost 100% of those sales were completed in compliance with the laws and regulations that govern the sale of a firearm, meaning at the time they purchased the firearm, they were most likely not prohibited from doing so.”
Those details came from former ATF Director Michael Sullivan, who was also a former federal prosecutor.
“Claiming ‘rogue licensed dealers’ are the problem may appease some in the anti-gun community but it is simply not true and not supported by any facts,” Sullivan told Fox News.
The Judiciary split may present a problem for anti-gun Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The Washington Post said Schumer “will need to hold a full Senate vote to discharge the nomination from committee.”