Biden's ATF nominee Chipman confronts disinformation in Senate hearing

David Chipman

Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that he supports a ban on AR-15 rifles and would enforce such a ban if Congress were to legislate one.

David Chipman, a gun control advocate with more than two decades of law enforcement experience at ATF, addressed doctored images circulating on social media that are falsely described as showing him in the rubble of a compound where 76 Branch Davidians and four federal agents died in a botched raid. He then became a senior policy advisor advocating for gun control at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence as well as a lobbyist. It is critical that all members of the firearm and ammunition industry, as well as supporters of the Second Amendment, contact their USA senators and urge them to oppose Chipman's nomination to be Director of ATF, including for the numerous reasons highlighted here.

"With respect to the AR-15, I support a ban", Chipman answered. "The AR-15 is a gun I was issued on ATF's SWAT team, and it's a particularly lethal weapon, and regulating it as other particularly lethal weapons I have advocated for". "Given Mr. Chipman's history of anti-gun lobbying and political activism, Americans can not be reasonably expected to believe he will be an unbiased enforcer of current laws", the letter stated.

"I " m amazed that might be the definition of an assault weapon", Cotton said.

It seems rather fitting that Biden - who said he would tap Beto "Hell yes, we're gonna take your AR-15" O'Rourke to "take care of the gun problem with me" - would nominate an ATF director who wants to ban AR-15s.

However, Chipman said that if confirmed as ATF director, "I would simply enforce the laws on the books, and right now, there is no such ban on those guns".

"You said, 'The only people who benefit from this bill are gun lobbyists and criminals who want easier access to deadly weapons, '" Lee said, quoting Chipman.

Cruz's question spoke to Chipman's understanding of the weapon in question, which was found to be lacking.

Cotton wanted specifics, asking, "What is an assault weapon?"

"You're asking us to ban assault weapons, we have to write legislation. How would you define it if you were the head of the ATF?" "That would basically cover every single modern sporting rifle in America today".

For example, the International Association of Chiefs of Police has been a "strong supporter" of banning assault weapons, according to one of the group's position papers, as well as the creation of a national registry for people convicted of violent gun crimes. "Americans likewise have the Second Amendment to protect their God-given rights to keep and bear arms", Knudsen and the attorneys general wrote.



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