U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The controversial nomination of gun control advocate David Chipman to head the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has hit more speed bumps, and some of them may be formidable.
Senate Judiciary Republicans are calling on Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin to hold a second hearing on the Chipman nomination.
Questions raised about alleged racist remarks he made while working as an ATF agent are getting more attention, as noted in The Reload, which is reporting that Senate Republicans have “pushed back” on the nomination.
Evidence of that comes in a letter sent to Durbin by Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the Capitol Hill veteran who was one of Capitol Hill’s chief critics of the ATF’s Operation Fast & Furious a decade ago, said the allegations of Chipman’s racist remarks “require the immediate attention of the Judiciary Committee.”
According to a news release from Grassley’s office, every Republican member of the Judiciary Committee is “seeking a follow-up hearing and more information about the nomination.” Republicans on the committee are “demanding the second hearing and urging (Durbin) to uphold the committee’s responsibility to closely scrutinize nominees like Chipman.”
The nomination by Joe Biden raised red flags immediately earlier this year because of Chipman’s background. He retired after 25 years with the ATF and began working for gun control groups. He has recently been working as an advisor to the anti-gun Giffords group, and has been lobbying for gun control over the past few years. Virtually every national gun rights organization on the map has taken a position against the Chipman nomination, which many see as something of a political payoff by Biden to the gun prohibition lobbying groups that supported his candidacy last year.
In his news release, Sen. Grassley recalled that in June “according to an anonymous former ATF agent, Chipman said, “Wow, there were an unusually large number of African American agents that passed the exam this time. They must have been cheating.” Those allegations have now been corroborated by an additional public report of similar allegations, citing both current and former ATF officials.
“It was further reported,” Grassley continued, “that Chipman was pushed out of his position in the ATF’s Detroit Field Office, raising serious concerns about his ineffectiveness as a leader and performance as a law enforcement officer. In addition, the Biden Administration continues to coverup and hide from the public at least two EEO complaints filed against Chipman.”
CNN is reporting that the White House and Senate Democrats are “trying to salvage” the Chipman nomination, “but it’s not clear whether enough senators will get behind a nominee who has faced intense opposition from gun rights activists.”
“But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has long been leery about holding votes on matters that won’t get the support of all 50 of his members,” the CNN story acknowledged, “and a single Democratic defection would derail Chipman’s nomination.”
In his letter to Durbin, Sen. Grassley made his position absolutely clear.
“Mr. Chipman’s nomination was never reported from the Judiciary Committee; it failed by an even vote,” Grassley wrote in the final paragraph. “This means his nomination is still here. Because the Judiciary Committee still has Mr. Chipman’s nomination it’s critical that we call him in for a public hearing to address these allegations before any move is made to advance his failed nomination to the Floor. Furthermore you as Chairman must lead the Judiciary Committee in calling on the Justice Department and Mr. Chipman to make public and transparent any such records referenced in these reports—in particular the two EEO complaints Mr. Chipman identified for Sen. (Ted) Cruz and any related documents.”
If Chipman is confirmed, it will add momentum to the Biden-Harris administration’s push for more gun control. Chipman has publicly acknowledged his support for a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” which he could not quickly define during questioning by the Judiciary Committee in May. Biden and Harris are both on record supporting a ban on modern sporting rifles, which have been deliberately mislabeled as “assault rifles” by the gun prohibition lobby and the establishment press.
And a few days ago, Chipman’s nomination got another smack when Gabe Kaminsky, an intern at The Federalist, recalled in an article how Chipman, in 2019, made an argument that could easily be taken as an endorsement of suppressing the First Amendment.
As quoted by Kaminsky, Chipman said during an interview with the BBC, “The frustration is in the United States the freedom of speech and to say things is largely cannot be regulated…We have to do more to monitor hate speech on the internet. But we also have to do more to curb that same speech being presented by our president and other elected public officials.”
At the time, “our president” was Donald Trump.
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