Anti-gun lobbying groups are reportedly pressuring the White House to twist the arms of Senate Democrats to confirm David Chipman to head the ATF. But opposition is increasing and it may derail the gun control advocate’s confirmation. (Screen snip, YouTube, Sen. Mike Lee)
U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Politico is reporting that “gun violence survivors and activists are going public with their long-simmering private frustrations, saying President Joe Biden could have done more” to push for confirmation of gun control advocate David Chipman as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as opposition to the nominee increases.
In recent Senate floor remarks, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan called Chipman “another extreme activist, this time against the Second Amendment and Second Amendment rights,” according to mustreadalaska.com. Sullivan argued that his Senate colleagues would not support Chipman’s nomination if they believe the Second Amendment is as important as other tenets of the Bill of Rights.
Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety lobbying group has been filling email Inboxes with this message: “Getting David Chipman confirmed is crucial to stopping the rise in violent crime and enforcing our gun laws. As a decorated law enforcement officer with 30 years of experience combating violent crime and a former senior adviser to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, he is the right person for the job and will be committed on day one to ending the country’s gun violence crisis.”
Everytown calls Chipman “a gun safety expert.” Everytown disguises itself as a “gun safety organization,” too, and the media goes along with that.
According to Politico, Igor Volsky, executive director of Guns Down America, a gun control lobbying group, declared, “The White House has really dropped the ball here and if Chipman is not confirmed that will be a significant letdown to survivors of gun violence across the country — and will have the effect of undermining their effort to reduce gun homicides… Biden told us during the campaign trail that this is a priority and the administration insists that he is in charge of driving this issue. He needs to step on the accelerator.”
But a Biden campaign pledge may not be worth much according to the results of a new survey by Rasmussen Reports. Only 30 percent of likely voters in that survey “say Biden has kept his campaign promises more than most presidents.” That’s against the 41 percent who say he hasn’t.
As revealed by Rasmussen, “Voters had a higher opinion of former President Donald Trump in this regard.”
So the push is on to get more energy from the Oval Office to strongarm Democrat senators into supporting Chipman’s nomination. But the opposition is getting stiffer as well. A letter sent to Sen. Dick Durbin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Sen. Charles Grassley, ranking member on that committee, by seven retired ATF employees offers an inside perspective on Chipman’s background that will be difficult to ignore.
In the letter, signed by retired agents Tim Buns, Mike Meadows, Larry Luckey, Pamela Potaczek, Gregory Alvarez and retired investigators Wadene Musgrave and Judith Bender, it is clear in the first paragraph that Chipman is “the wrong man for the job.”
The seven retired agents also said this: “David’s strong personal beliefs on firearms issues will create serious and long-lasting problems for the Bureau and the effective execution of its law enforcement mission. We relied on effective partnerships with industry, stakeholders, and other law enforcement agencies to execute our missions. Unfortunately, if David were confirmed, ATF partners would see someone who is coming to the agency with his top priority being to implement a divisive gun control agenda. The suspicion and hostility his leadership will bring will destroy those partnerships, and the prosecution of gun crimes and other violent crimes, will suffer.”
Writing at National Review, author and fellow at National Review Institute Kevin Williamson, was blunt: “The Senate should reject Joe Biden’s nomination of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.”
The essay goes downhill from there.
“Chipman is an activist,” Williamson asserts, “but the ATF needs an administrator. Chipman would raise the temperature of the gun-control debate, when precisely the opposite is needed. Chipman has shown poor judgment — from engaging in racially tinged office politics to allowing himself to be used as an instrument of public relations by a Beijing-run propaganda program — and the ATF, of all federal agencies, has had more than enough of poor judgment over the years.”
Here’s something to consider: If Durbin and the Democrats thought they had the votes to confirm Chipman, it would have already happened.
Main Senator Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats, appears to be a “No” vote. Sen. Joe Manchin may be another negative, though that cannot be confirmed.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki whined to Politico that Republicans have closed “in lockstep” against Chipman, but that’s what Republicans should be doing, according to grassroots rights activists. Democrats do that all the time on various issues, but apparently Psaki believes that’s somehow different.
Williamson summarized the situation with Democrats and Chipman succinctly when he observed in closing, “But, in any case, we wrote down the Bill of Rights for a reason. If the Democrats want to repeal the Second Amendment, then there is a process for that. Good luck.
“Until such a time as that might come to pass,” he added, “the agenda of the gun-control movement is mostly off the table thanks to the Bill of Rights. And installing a gun-control activist in an administrative position in order to try to warp the bureaucracy into pursuing political goals that are either politically impossible for Congress or impermissible under the Bill of Rights is very bad governance.”
About Dave Workman
Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.