Biden ATF Director Nominee Wants to Ban the AR-15, the Most Popular Rifle in America

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President Joe Biden’s selection of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives set off alarm bells among Second Amendment advocates in early April.

There were concerns over questionable remarks he’d made on social media site Reddit about the 1993 Waco Siege. He has also called for a ban on the manufacture and sale of assault rifles. I posted about Chipman’s remarks here.

At the time CNN reported that Chipman “has a long history at the agency [ATF] and sports credentials in gun control advocacy sure to excite firearm safety groups.” He is a “fierce advocate for gun control.”

Chipman currently serves as an adviser to the gun control organization founded by former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat. Giffords was shot and very seriously wounded during a 2011 campaign event during which 19 people were injured.

As expected, the nominee faced some tough questions from Republicans during a Wednesday hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas told Chipman, “The AR-15 is one of, if not the most, popular rifles in America. It’s not a machine gun. It’s a rifle. Your public position is that you want to ban AR-15s. Is that correct?”

“With respect to the AR-15, I support a ban as has been presented in a Senate bill and supported by the President,” replied Chipman. “The AR-15 is a gun I was issued on ATFs SWAT team and it’s a particularly lethal weapon. And regulating it as other particularly lethal weapons I have advocated for. As ATF Director if I’m confirmed, I would simply enforce the laws on the books and right now, there is no such ban on those guns.”

“So you want to ban the most popular rifle in America,” Cruz said.

 

 

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) asked Chipman to define an “assault weapon.”

He tried to dodge the question. but Cotton pushed. He then offered the definition of an assault weapon from an ATF program.  “… an assault rifle as any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22, which would include a .223, which is, you know largely the AR-15 round.”

Cotton asked, “So you believe that every weapon that takes a detachable magazine, that can take a .22 round — or 5.56 in military parlance — should be defined as an assault weapon?”

The Senator repeated his question. “A detachable magazine that takes a .556 or .22 round should be defined as an assault weapon?”

“Senator, you asked me if ATF had used this term, and I was sharing with you my knowledge of a program in which ATF has defined this term,” Chipman replied.

“I’m amazed that might be the definition of assault weapon. That would basically cover every single modern sporting rifle in America today,” Cotton stated.

 

 

Texas Sen. John Cornyn asked Chipman if, in his view, a law-abiding gun owner was a threat to public safety. “If the term law-abiding means someone has lawfully possessed a gun, there are often occasions that that person then goes on to commit a violent crime…”

That answer didn’t go over too well with the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). YAL is the nation’s most active youth libertarian organization and a longtime critic of gun control. The group has officially spoken out against the Chipman appointment.

 

 

Below is a statement from YAL senior spokesperson Eric Brakey:

“After declaring the Bill of Rights not ‘absolute’ and pushing for ‘Red Flag’ gun confiscation, President Biden has appointed David Chipman, a career government agent whose history has been stained by the blood of American citizens, to lead the ATF. Having infamously participated in the 1993 Waco siege—in which the ATF used military-grade weaponry (including fully automatic rifles) to kill 82 men, women, and children—Chipman now campaigns against private gun owners alongside Michael Bloomberg-funded organizations like Giffords and Everytown for Gun Safety. Chipman loves guns, so long as government agents are pointing them at us, and not the other way around.”

YAL is the national leader in defending the Second Amendment on the state level. Through the work of YAL’s Hazlitt Action Program, constitutional carry has been enacted in Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, and Oklahoma, and is soon to be passed in Alabama and Louisiana. Constitutional carry permits citizens to carry firearms without a license or permit.

At the time of Chipman’s nomination, Politico wrote that it may not be easy to confirm Chipman or any nominee for that matter with a 50-50 Senate. They point out that ever since the ATF Director position became Senate-confirmed, the agency has had “mostly acting directors.” The exception was Todd Jones who was confirmed “in 2013 after a years-long stint as acting director.”

Tucker Carlson: Gun Control Is Not About Guns, It’s About Who Controls America

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Fox News’ Tucker Carlson cut right to the core of the gun control issue in his opening monolog on Thursday. Regardless of all the chatter, it’s not about the guns he tells viewers. “It’s about who controls America.”

Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden had delivered a speech announcing a series of executive orders his administration hopes will reduce the so-called “gun violence public health epidemic.” I suppose it won’t be long before CDC Director Rochelle Walensky adds this to her list of new public health threats as she did with racism last week, but I digress.

(Note: The “Biden-Harris” Administration’s six initiatives are outlined on their website here.)

Biden told his audience, “Nothing I’m about to recommend impinges on the Second Amendment. There are phony arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake, for what we’re talking about. No Amendment to the Constitution is absolute.”

That’s not what the Constitution tells us. The right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.” Carlson said that “according to Joe Biden, that’s not an absolute right, despite what the text says. No, that right is subject to his approval and his interpretation. Joe Biden is in charge of the Constitution now. Joe Biden defines its terms.”

And, just as the President had lied about what was actually in the Georgia voting reform bill two weeks ago, he lied about current gun laws. Biden said that firearms purchased at gun shows were exempt from background checks and that gun manufacturers have total immunity against lawsuits. Both statements are false.

“Almost nothing Biden said was true. … It was a speech meant to mislead rather than to inform,” Carlson said. In fact, he noted, “The places in this country that have the most guns and the loosest controls on those guns also have the least gun violence and the fewest killings.”

The most powerful part of Carlson’s monolog is this:

Anyone who tries to restrict your legally owned firearms is not trying to make America safer. The point is to disarm you and strip you of your autonomy, your power, your right to self-defense. Gun control is not about guns. Gun control is about who controls America. Is it the population, as in a democracy, or does all control go to a small group of authoritarians, as in an oligarchy? Those are the stakes in the gun control debate. It’s not about guns, it’s about who runs the country.

Carlson discussed Biden’s ban on “stabilizing braces” which are “used by target shooters to hold heavy firearms” and owned by “up to 40 million law-abiding Americans.”

They play zero role in the murder epidemic now underway in our cities. Under Biden’s order, every one of those people will have to alert federal authorities and pay hundreds of dollars in fines for the crime of owning a harmless piece of plastic that was legal yesterday. If they don’t comply, Joe Biden’s federal authorities can drag them off in handcuffs, seize their property, and charge them with a felony.

So with a single stroke of a pen, Joe Biden just turned tens of millions of overwhelmingly Republican voters into criminals. Is it starting to make sense now? Think about that for a minute and you’ll begin to understand why the Democratic Party is so focused on what they call “weapons of war.” You might know them as semiautomatic, small-caliber sporting rifles that normal people use for hunting and target shooting and home defense.

He questions the Biden Administration’s focus on rifles, because pistols are used in the majority of homicides in the country. Citing 2019 FBI data, he said that of the 10,258 homicides that year, less than 500 involved rifles. “So criminals don’t use rifles. They’re not concealable. Maybe that’s why, in fact, more people were murdered with knives than with rifles.”

So if you actually cared about making the country safer and keeping people from getting murdered, you would target handguns in big cities. That’s where the murders are. That’s where the violence is. But the Biden administration is doing the opposite of this, the mirror image of this. The Biden administration is letting big city criminals go. People who use guns for violence are walking out of jail. And instead, the Biden administration is using the full force of government to disarm peaceful voters in zip codes that voted for Donald Trump. It is that simple.

Biden announced that he wants to ban what he called “assault weapons.” He was speaking about the AR 15, the single most popular sporting rifle in America. So the question is: If we banned so-called assault weapons, would the country become safer? We don’t need to guess about the answer because we tried this before under Bill Clinton. For ten full years, we banned assault rifles and then, by law, the Department of Justice studied the effects. Once that ban expired in 2004, gun homicides fell in almost every major city (again, you can look this up). So policies like this one are unhinged from reality, to put it gently.

Biden also introduced his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), David Chipman. I posted here about comments Chipman had made on social media which are certain to set off alarm bells among Republican senators.

Carlson believes Chipman is “a conspiracy nut.” Chipman was an ATF special agent at the time of the 1993 Waco Siege and had been involved in the operation. Yet he wrote on social media site Reddit that Branch Davidian members had shot down government helicopters, which wasn’t true. They had shot at the three helicopters, but none were shot down. Nor was anyone aboard those helicopters wounded.

In another Reddit post, Chipman wrote: “While at ATF, I conducted studies involving people who failed background checks to determine how many later committed crimes with a gun—many did. This is a perfect opportunity to arrest people before committing crimes rather than responding after the fact.”

Carlson repeated the words, “Arrest people before committing crimes.” He said, “That’s a new concept in American law, though the Chinese are highly familiar with it.”

So, it’s all about power, as is everything else this administration has thrust upon us in the last three months. They don’t even try to conceal it. We just have to hope that enough Americans who voted for Biden in November are concerned enough about the Democrats’ massive power grab to do something about it. The American people will speak in 2022 and if they make the right decision, the insanity will stop. Unfortunately, this administration already has and will continue to inflict enormous damage on the country.

Questionable Remarks Posted to Social Media By Biden’s Nominee for ATF Director on Waco Siege, Assault Rifles Surface

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President Joe Biden is expected to nominate David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, firearms and Explosives at an event where he will sign a series of gun control executive orders. Chipman, a former ATF special agent, may come under some fire during the confirmation process due to several questionable remarks he posted on social media site Reddit about the 1993 Waco Siege. He has also called for a ban on the manufacture and sale of assault rifles.

The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross reports the comments were made to bolster his calls for tighter restrictions on “so-called” assault rifles.

In one Reddit post, Chipman wrote: “At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters. Point, it is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often. The victims of drug lords in Mexico are not so lucky. America plays a role in fueling the violence south of the border.”

Ross located a House report on Waco and found that, although members of Branch Davidian shot at three government helicopters and damaged them, “none were shot down, and no federal agents were injured.”

Combing through Chipman’s comments, Ross found one which said he supports a ban on the “future production and sale” of assault rifles. Chipman wrote: “It has been estimated that there are around 15 million assault rifles currently in circulation. I believe we should ban the future production and sale to civilians and afford current owners of these firearms the ability to license these particularly guns with ATF under the National Firearms Act.”

Chipman also wrote, “I believe all gun sales should be limited to licensed gun stores where a background check and paperwork is required.”

One of the most surprising facts about this candidate is that he sometimes carries a gun himself. In one entry, Chipman wrote: “For the general public, seeing a gun out in public is a little frightening. To me, living in fear is a harm that we should avoid. When I carry I make sure it’s concealed. I’m not trying to make some statement.”

Chipman currently serves as an adviser to the gun control organization founded by former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat. Giffords, was shot and very seriously wounded during a 2011 campaign event during which 19 people were injured.

According to CNN, Chipman “has a long history at the agency and sports credentials in gun control advocacy sure to excite firearm safety groups.” He is a “fierce advocate for gun control.”

Politico wrote that it may not be easy to confirm Chipman or any nominee for that matter with a 50-50 Senate. They point out that ever since the ATF Director position became Senate-confirmed, the agency has had “mostly acting directors.” The exception was Todd Jones who was confirmed “in 2013 after a years-long stint as acting director.”

Key Senate Aide: Gun Control bill is ‘Just dead on arrival. Period. It doesn’t have the votes’

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On March 11, the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021,” otherwise known as H.R. 8, a bill which would require a background check for every U.S. firearm sale, passed the House.

Afterward, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters, “Last time, [H.R. 8] went into Mitch McConnell’s legislative graveyard. The legislative graveyard is over. H.R. 8 will be on the floor of the Senate and we will see where everybody stands,” according to a report in Yahoo. He added, “No more thoughts and prayers – a vote is what we need.”

Schumer’s plan to take up this legislation in the Senate, however, was thwarted last week after three key senators spoke out against it. The three include: Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

The Washington Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski spoke to several key senate aides who agreed that the restrictions in the bill were “dead on arrival” in the Senate.

Particularly objectionable was the “requirement that licensed gun dealers perform background checks nearly every time someone sells or even lends a gun to another person is a non-starter.”

An aide to Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania told Gutowski, “H.R. 8 is just dead on arrival. Period. It doesn’t have the votes. Not only does it not have the votes quietly, it doesn’t have the votes loudly because Manchin and Toomey are out there opposing it.”

He said that “Senator Toomey is not interested in playing political games or being an example in a background check exercise. He’s interested in achieving an actual outcome.”

According to these sources, there has been speculation that Democrats may “revive a bipartisan 2013 bill that would only apply background checks to private sales.” Toomey had been a co-sponsor of this bill and “played a leading role in selling the policy to voters and fellow senators” including “four Republicans.”

The bill did not receive the 60 votes required for passage. The Toomey aide added that “He’s interested in a consensus product, he’s not interested in political theater. He’s not interested in helping lead a project that’s just ultimately doomed to fail.”

Toomey, considered a swing vote, was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his February impeachment trial.

Other staffers Gutowski spoke to were not convinced that the Senate could reach an agreement on the 2013 bill. If the filibuster remains in place, any gun control legislation would require 60 votes for passage.

On Thursday, Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said that he and the Majority Leader will “spend the next several weeks working with both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to try to craft the strongest background checks bill that can pass.”

In a Sunday interview with NBC News’ Chuck Todd, Murphy said, “”I am not interested in getting 50 votes in the Senate. I am interested in getting 60 votes.”

Schumer’s position is far less accommodating than Murphy’s. On Thursday, he told reporters, “We will try to work with our Republican colleagues on a bipartisan basis when and where we can. But if they choose to obstruct, rather than work with us to deliver for American families, we must make progress nonetheless. Failure is not an option.”

One GOP staffer told Gutowski that the passage of any gun control legislation really depends on Schumer’s willingness to compromise. “Does Schumer want to actually come to the table and talk about stricter enforcement on straw purchases? Does he want to talk about some of the gun restraining order proposals that had strong due process checks in them? Or does he just want to keep trying to run up against the filibuster and score political points?”

For the Uber-partisan Schumer, I’m afraid it’s only the latter.

The resistance of Sens. Manchin, Tester and Collins was a big win for Republicans. Although seven House Republicans voted for H.R. 8, it’s difficult to imagine there would be sufficient Republican support in the Senate to get to 60 votes.

The checks and balances have saved us for now. And while this is good news, especially in the short run, this isn’t the end. Democrats will never give up the fight to take away our gun rights.

God help us if the Democrats somehow manage to end the filibuster.

White House Press Secretary Confirms Biden Will Be Signing Executive Orders on Gun Control

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Asked by a reporter during Friday’s White House briefing if we should be expecting executive orders from the President on gun measures, Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki very matter-of-factly replied, “Yes.”

“I can’t give you an exact time frame in part, because they have to go through a review process, which is something that we do from here,” she said.

“I will note that when we, when the president was the vice president in the Obama-Biden administration, he helped put in place twenty three executive actions to combat gun violence. It’s one of the levers that we can use, that any federal government, any president can use, to help address the prevalence of gun violence and address community safety around the country,” Psaki added.

The renewed focus on gun control comes in the wake of the mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado.

According to the New York Post’s Steven Nelson, “the White House is considering orders to require background checks for “ghost guns” that can be manufactured at home without serial numbers and a requirement that local cops be notified if someone fails an FBI background check to buy a gun from a registered dealer, according to recent reports.”

Neither of these actions would have prevented the bloodshed in Atlanta or in Boulder. Both shooters passed background checks.

Because of a stubborn thing called the Second Amendment, Biden cannot issue an executive order to ban gun sales.

In the case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court “ruled that individuals have a right to keep and bear arms, unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

Biden also called on Congress to pass gun control legislation. According to a report from KIRO 7, Biden told reporters, “I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future. And to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act. We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again.”

Unless Democrats find a way to eliminate the filibuster, it’s unlikely any meaningful gun control action could pass the 50-50 Senate.