U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Under intense questioning by Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, Joe Biden’s nominee to become head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives acknowledged during a hearing Wednesday that if he is confirmed, David Chipman acknowledged he would ban the AR15, which currently is the most popular rifle in America.
Chipman, who is a senior policy advisor for the Giffords gun prohibition lobbying group, told Sen. Ted Cruz, “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 ATF’s SWAT team and it is a particularly lethal weapon, and regulating it as other particularly lethal weapons I have advocated for.”
The exchange is the subject of a tweet from the National Rifle Association. NRA strongly opposes Chipman’s confirmation, as do other gun rights groups. The fight to prevent his confirmation could be one of the most intense in recent Capitol Hill history.
As reported by The Hill, ranking Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa asserted Chipman has “misled” the public about semiautomatic modern sporting rifles. Grassley criticized the nominee’s “contempt to which he seems to view ordinary Americans who buy and carry firearms.”
The New York Times quoted Grassley’s other scathing remark about Chipman.
“Many see that putting a committed gun control proponent, like David Chipman, in charge of A.T.F. is like putting a tobacco executive in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, or Antifa in charge of the Portland police department,” Grassley observed.
Chipman worked at ATF for more than 20 years, retiring in 2012. Since then, he has become an outspoken gun control proponent. His nomination by Biden suggests the president wants someone with a gun control track record to be running the agency responsible for enforcing firearms regulations.
As noted by USA Today and others, Chipman spent time on the ATF’s SWAT team.
During Chipman’s exchange with Sen. Cruz, the Texas lawmaker sternly reminded him, “The AR-15 is one of, if not the most popular rifle in America. It’s not a machine gun, it’s a rifle.”
Gun prohibitionists have been characterizing the AR15 and other modern sporting rifles as “weapons of war” in an effort to demonize them with the public. The term “assault rifle” is widely considered a creation of anti-gunners, and under questioning, Chipman evaded attempts by Republicans to have him define what he considers an “assault rifle” to be.
According to the New York Times, “Biden’s selection of Mr. Chipman came after an intense lobbying campaign by gun safety organizations…and other gun control activists who identified him as their top choice for the job soon after November’s election.”
But those unidentified “gun safety” organizations are false fronts, according to Second Amendment activists, because they’re not interested in safety at all, but in control or prohibition. Within the firearms community, true “gun safety” organizations are those that actually have instructors who teach firearms safety, such as the NRA or the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.
“The White House was initially reluctant to select a nominee who would provoke such intense opposition,” the New York Times acknowledged, “but Mr. Biden decided he needed to make a bold move after the mass killings in the Atlanta area and Boulder this year, White House officials said.”
Millions of American citizens own AR15s and similar semi-auto rifles.
They are used for a variety of activities, including predator and varmint hunting, competition, recreational shooting and home defense. Chipman’s acknowledgment that he supports banning those rifles could cause trouble during confirmation proceedings.
However, the New York Times suggested Democrats may have the votes to confirm, provided one or two Republicans jump ship. If there is a tie, Vice President Kamala Harris—herself a perennial anti-gunner—would cast the deciding vote in a 50-50 Senate.
As noted by the NY Times, “It is not even clear if Democrats have the votes necessary to clear him out of the committee without resorting to procedural maneuvers.”
By no small coincidence, as Chipman’s hearing was unfolding, it was reported that a mass shooting had occurred in san Jose, California. Gun control groups have wasted no time in trying to exploit the incident and tie it to the Chipman confirmation.
The billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a Seattle-based gun prohibition group, sent an email blast stating, “News of a mass shooting interrupted the confirmation hearing for the nominee to serve as director of the only federal agency responsible for addressing gun violence.
“We should be able to go to work, take public transit, go grocery shopping, attend a concert, and live our lives free from the fear of gun violence,” the group insisted, after which it quickly solicited contributions “to honor the victims…”
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