USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “David Chipman, a retired Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent, on Monday said AR-15 rifles should be regulated like machine guns,” The Hill recounted Monday in an advocacy piece exploiting the Tree of Life synagogue murders, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas and Parkland, all dressed up like “news.”
“What I support is treating them just like machine guns,” Chipman asserted. “To me, if you want to have a weapon of war, the same gun that was issued to me as a member of [the] ATF SWAT team, it makes sense that you would have to pass a background check, the gun would have to be in your name, and there would be a picture and fingerprints on file.”
“The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these guns.”
There would also be more required by such a new Intolerable Act than Chipman admits to. There would be a transfer tax and registration in the notoriously unreliable National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. There’s no reason to believe that bans on guns manufactured after a certain date (like the post-1986 machine gun ban) would not also be imposed. With the Trump administration’s proposed “bump stock” ban, gun-grabbers will have all the precedent they need to order gun owners to dispose of their property. And if government can mandate all that for semiautomatic rifles, why would functionally identical semiautomatic pistols be exempted?
After all, they didn’t used to call the Brady Campaign Handgun Control, Inc. and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence the National Campaign to Ban Handguns for nothing.
That, of course, is another piece of what Chipman and the gun-grabbers he works for want, as does the supportive DSM. They’re hoping by couching plans for bans in terms of “reasonable commonsense gun safety laws” that enough ignorant Americans will allow themselves to be swindled out of their rights.
“Weapons of war” were precisely what the Founders intended the militia, comprised from “the whole people,” to have when they showed up for muster to become “well regulated” as a coordinated body able to stand and prevail against professional soldiers. The right to keep and bear such arms is what they declared “shall not be infringed,” meaning prior restraints, permissions and bans are supposed to be off the table.
“Like, I don't think you should be able to anonymously purchase 20 AR-15s at one time, and the government shouldn't know,” Chipman added to his list of infringements, as if someone caught doing that wouldn’t face unlicensed dealer and/or trafficking charges.
It’s no surprise he’d supplement his pension working for Gungrabby Gabby as a “senior policy advisor.” Prior to that Chipman was a spokesflack for Michael Bloomberg, and also did a stint for ShotSpotter, a great way for cities to spend tax plunder on something that “produces few tangible results” but makes it look like the political class is “doing something” about “gun violence.”
Chipman is also the guy who, several years back, had one of the more ludicrous and over-the-top objections to the Tracking Point rifle system, “a new rifle-scope combo that uses laser range-finding, environmental and motion sensors, and a sophisticated computer system” to facilitate precision long-range shots. Here's what he wanted people to believe:
“This technology potentially enables any two bit criminal to operate with the skills of a highly trained sniper.”
Right. Any “two bit criminal” can get his hands on $17K for bolt action systems and from $7K to $16K for semiautomatic systems. That these products have been available for years since and that there has not been one instance of a “two bit criminal” even having one, let alone using one, is a pretty good indicator of the shameless hyperbole Chipman employs.
So it’s not surprising that there were other ATF careerists who viewed him as a self-serving opportunist (at best).
CleanUpATF is a website that provides a forum for disaffected current and former ATF employees concerned with agency waste, abuse, corruption and fraud. My colleague the late Mike Vanderboegh and I had been monitoring it for years, and in 2009 we tried to get the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to hold hearings on their allegations, to determine if they were just the gripes of disgruntled employees or if they were legitimate concerns being raised by the guys in the field about top-level corruption and incompetence.
I wish Oversight had listened, because an investigation may have precluded the post from December, 2010, picked up by Mike, and that was a thread we pulled to unravel the deadly and cynical Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” criminal enterprise. If the committee had done its job and that had been uncovered in time, there’s a good chance we’d not know the name Brian Terry, at least in relation to being a murder victim with a family still desperately looking for accountability and justice.
Since the original CUATF lead and subsequent information provided by whistleblowers was borne out, it would behoove us all, and especially House Oversight, to at least look into what was alleged about Chipman before he retired:
“When it was brought to the Bureaus attention that Chipman had tried to grease the skids for former ASAC Stankoweicz(sp), the 5th floor was outraged and tanked the contract offer for someone who had so blatantly and publicly disgraced the Bureau. That did not prevent him from sliding into some other non Bureau contracted position. The problem is, that Chipman has been manipulating the Bureau sponsored contractor to pad the BQL with friends. The net effect is that the truly qualified people are not being considered for the positions. It has also been stated that Chipman has delivered HIS version of the BQLs for these contract positions, demanding his buddies be placed at the top of the list. Yep fraud. That simple. Yep the 5th floor knows.”
That's a strong word. And just to clarify, that’s where the Director’s Suite 500 is located.
I don’t pretend to fully understand the details, and I'm assuming “BQL” as used here refers to a “Best Qualified List.” An ancillary discussion suggests the reference is to showing favoritism, including for an executive colleague said in that conversation to have been at the center of a sexual harassment settlement. A “Professionalism in ATF” thread at CUATF offers a further claim into who Chipman is alleged to have “tried to grease the skids for”:
“Stankiewicz literally got caught trying to pull down his pants on Intel GS [name redacted here] during the Coatesville Serial Arson case [the same case which made national headlines].”
Especially in light of recent #MeToo developments where it’s insisted that such past actions have present relevance, it would be appropriate for Oversight to determine the truth of all allegations. It would also be appropriate – now that the gun-grab groups have advanced him as their resident expert and the media (based on Google News feed hits), consider Chipman a go-to-guy for quotes – for “real reporters” to look into this. Realistically, based on past experience, that seems unlikely.
What has Oversight got to lose by at least looking into the CUATF allegations?
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and a contributor to Firearms News, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.