Biden ATF Nominee Backs Bans on AR-15, 'Assault Weapons'

Yolanda Curtis
May 28, 2021

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said that confirming President Joe Biden's pick to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives would be like "putting Antifa in charge of the Portland Police Department".

The NRA is also warning against Chipman's confirmation, noting he is an "anti-gun lobbyist and gun ban proponent".

In a series of letters addressed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, national policing groups endorsed the nomination of David Chipman - a fierce advocate for gun control - whose hearing comes as the nation faces a spike in mass shootings.

NSSF vehemently opposes Chipman's nomination as someone who is entirely unqualified to hold a position of public trust.

Biden's ATF Director nominee David Chipman posing in the ashes of the Branch Davidians' compound in Waco. It is critical that all members of the firearm and ammunition industry, as well as supporters of the Second Amendment, contact their US senators and urge them to oppose Chipman's nomination to be Director of ATF, including for the numerous reasons highlighted here.


Chipman, who worked for the ATF for 25 years, thanked Cruz for the question, before answering "with respect to the AR-15, I support a ban as has been presented in a senate bill, and supported by the president".

"The AR-15 is a gun I was issued on the ATF's SWAT team, and it's a particularly lethal weapon".

After leaving the ATF in 2012, Chipman became a senior adviser at Everytown for Gun Safety, and later as a senior policy adviser at Giffords. "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. Cotton asked. "How have you defined it over the last several years in your role as a gun control advocate?"

"Senator, an assault weapon would be, in the context of the question you asked, what Congress defines it as", Chipman squirmed. In that capacity, he has advocated for limits on high-capacity magazines and a federal assault weapons ban.

"You're asking us to ban assault weapons, we have to write legislation".


Cotton pressed him, asking whether any rifle with "a detachable magazine that takes a 556 or a.22 round, should be described as an assault weapon".

"The lack of a permanent director impacts morale", said retired ATF special agent Mark Jones, adding that field agents faced shifting priorities with each new temporary agency head.

President Biden's nominee to head the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) bureau, David Chipman, said during Wednesday that he is in favor of a ban on AR-15 rifles.

"The Second Amendment is the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights", the AGs wrote.


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