After Chipman Flaunted His Antigun Bias Where Do Senators Stand?

By Larry Keane

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms ATF Phone Call-iStock-Ilya-Burdun-1204890463.jpg
Chipman, who until recently was a lobbyist for Giffords gun control group, was nominated by President Biden to be the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).  IMG iStock Ilya Burdun 1204890463

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the bureau that has regulatory authority over the firearm industry admitted to the U.S. Senate he would ban firearms over enforcing laws a week ago and the question lingers. Does David Chipman have the votes?

Here’s where it stands now.

Chipman, who until recently was a lobbyist for Giffords gun control group, was nominated by President Biden to be the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). He faced withering questions from Republican senators for his past statements, testimony, and his acrimony toward gun owners. He largely spent the hearing attempting to explain away how public statements he made to media were taken out of context and admitting to wanted to ban rifles that he couldn’t clearly define.

The hearing was a chance for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to gain a sense if he’s fit for the job. The ATF director role is a Senate-confirmed position, part of the Senate’s “advise and consent power” for key political appointees to public positions. Chipman’s nominated must first be voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which hasn’t yet set a date for the vote.

Senate Procedures

There are a couple of ways forward. First, the committee doesn’t have to set a date for a vote. That could be a signal from the committee to The White House that the nomination is doomed. President Donald Trump nominated Chuck Canterbury for the same position and his nomination was never considered by the committee and eventually withdrawn by the Trump administration.

That’s an unlikely scenario here. President Biden is being pressured by gun control groups, including Giffords and Everytown for whom he also lobbied, to push Chipman’s nomination through. Giffords began lobbying the White House to appoint Chipman almost immediately after the election last November. There’s nothing more these antigun groups would like to see than a figurehead that would slash and burn the firearm industry. That would suggest that senators on the committee will have to cast their votes. With the Senate split 50-50, the committees are also split 50-50. That could mean Chipman’s nomination could end up in a tie in the committee but that wouldn’t end his nomination.

The Senate’s power-sharing agreement would mean that should Chipman’s nomination end in a tie at Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) would be required to transmit a notice of the tie to the Secretary of the Senate. That would allow Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to make a “motion to discharge” the nomination from the committee, allowing all senators to vote on whether the full Senate should consider the nomination. That could be a litmus test as to where Senators would eventually vote, but not necessarily. If the motion to discharge passes, the nomination would then immediately be put on the Senate calendar.

That would mean Chipman’s nomination would require 50 votes, plus one. Given the Senate is split evenly, this would mean Vice President Harris would be the tie-breaking vote. Obviously, if given the chance, she would vote to confirm.

Power Brokers

That makes knowing where the senators stand critical to protecting the firearm industry and the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.

Republican senators largely grilled Chipman on his support for banning AR-15 rifles, denigrating gun owners, admitting he thought law-abiding gun owners are potential criminals and his support of making it more difficult and costly for gun owners to protect their hearing. He also was taken to task for his support for a ban on any rifle with a detachable magazine with a chambering larger than .22-caliber only to later admit the firearm industry doesn’t market anything called an “assault rifle.” He told the senators he wants to ban so-called “assault rifles” but couldn’t define what that is and later contradicted his own previous Congressional testimony where he said he wanted to expand the National Firearms Act, not just enforce it.

That leaves senators outside the committee as the real question mark. So far, they’re staying mum. Chief among them might be Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) Sen. Manchin is one of the few moderate Democrats left and is already catching the ire of The White House for bucking the party line on other issues. West Virginia has a strong gun-rights tradition, making him a key vote to protect Second Amendment rights. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is a known moderate and a key vote in Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Her vote will be critical here too. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted “present” on Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but with slim margins in the Senate, Alaskans will be looking to her to protect their gun rights. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is under pressure on Chipman’s vote. Montana Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen led a letter signed by 21 Republican state attorneys general urging a “no” vote on Chipman and reminded Sen. Tester that Montana expects him to protect gun rights. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is in a unique position. Like Sen. Manchin, she’s been singled out by President Biden for her independent streak. Chipman once collected a paycheck from Arizona’s Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, who leads the Giffords gun control group with his wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Let Them Know

These are the senators that need to hear from their constituents. There’s nothing more effective than voters reaching out directly to their elected officials and informing them of their stance. It’s easy as clicking here, calling the Senate switchboard, and asking to be connected to the senator that needs to hear from you. These senators are crucial to ensuring that special interest gun control doesn’t take the helm of the ATF and politicize the bureau that regulates the firearm industry. This would be putting the fox in charge of guarding the henhouse.


About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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PMinFl
PMinFl
9 days ago

Schumer is not the majority leader, there are only 48 Democratic senators while there are 50 Republican senators. I have written to my senator( ha-ha a leader?) in regards to the 48/50 issue…it’s been months since the Republican ( some kind of poobah head of Republican senators crying group) to no avail, couldn’t even get a form letter from a staffer. The public, in general, remains uninformed and it appears that they like it that way.

Considerthis
Considerthis
9 days ago

The last paragraph under ” let them know ” has a clickable link in red – ” here”. It will connect you to a page where your enter your state. Once your state is established, pictures of your senators pop up. Click on the picture of one of your senators and a contact information pops up. At the bottom left is a “Email me ” box. Click on that and a page comes up with an Email form you can fill out. Yeah, it would be nice if it were easier. I have found that by being a member of… Read more »

Bill
Bill
9 days ago

If the author really thinks that our contact with those Senators is important, then wouldn’t he have included their contact info?

DIYinSTL
DIYinSTL
9 days ago

It looked more like Chipman refusing to give his definition of an “assault weapon” than not being able to which perhaps is far more insidious.

normdvorak
normdvorak
10 days ago

Any Government Agent who was in Waco, Texas when most of the Branch Davidians were all killed except the few who fled does not deserve to be the head of any Government Agency. All of the Agents who were in Waco that day committed Murder of people that had to defend themselves from Government Tyranny. Chipman was part of that group of Agents and played a big role in Murdering these innocent people. He was seen on the news later actually bragging about it.

Last edited 10 days ago by normdvorak
Hazcat
Hazcat
11 days ago

Ted is a fraud and a grifter. 23 years on the NRA board and just recently (within the last 3 months) he told Grishom (Gun Talk Media) in an interview that he will look into the whole WLP thing and that he had not heard about it before!

Wouldn’t trust Ted with a squirt gun.

Last edited 11 days ago by Hazcat
musicman44mag
musicman44mag
12 days ago

Terrible Ted for the ATF and then after President Trump is done he can be the president and straighten out the strangle hold in the motor city mad house.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
12 days ago

Looks like it’s time for bloomturd to come in and see if he can buy some more legislators so his side and agenda wins. Some OreGONE senators gave in for a couple million dollars each donated via the governor from the covid tax dollars you paid and we received. I wonder what the going price is for legislators in the nations capital today. I bet Romney will have his hand out. Chaney might even go for a few bucks too since she knows her re election days are done.

Arny
Arny
5 days ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

And worthless Toomey in Pa. Mr common sense gun reform himself. lol

Green Mtn. Boy
Green Mtn. Boy
12 days ago

They should all be voting against him, however the totalitarian Marxists and RINO’s will all fall in line and approve the tyrannical scum known as Wacko Waco Chipman.

Last edited 12 days ago by Green Mtn. Boy
Hazcat
Hazcat
11 days ago
Reply to  Green Mtn. Boy

I am sad to say that I think you are correct. There is always Romney, Collins, Murkowski and others that will bend the knee.

PMinFl
PMinFl
9 days ago
Reply to  Hazcat

When is America going to dump the RINOs? right up to Turtle Mich?

uncle dudley
uncle dudley
12 days ago

West Virginia has a lottery for winning some rifles and shotguns if they take the Covid 19 vaccine, so it would look really stupid for the West Virginia senators to vote for a person like Chipman who is so anti gun and wants to take guns away from the average citizen, what would that tell the citizens in West Virginia.

Hazcat
Hazcat
11 days ago
Reply to  uncle dudley

The government coercing you to do something by giving / promising you something with one hand while taking the same thing away with the other should surprise no one.

Bait and switch is their stock in trade.