KEY VOTE: “NO” on the confirmation of David Chipman

KEY VOTE: Senate · Jul 14, 2021

Heritage Action opposes the confirmation of David Chipman and will include the confirmation vote on our legislative scorecard.

The Senate is soon expected to vote on the confirmation of David Chipman to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). President Biden announced on April 12, 2021, that he would nominate Chipman to the post. He is currently a senior advisor for Giffords and previously held a similar position with Everytown for Gun Safety, meaning he has spent the last nine years working to advance the agenda of far-left gun-control groups.

As Director of ATF, Chipman would be responsible for enforcing all of the nation’s firearms-related laws. Based on his record, giving this authority to Chipman would threaten all law-abiding gun owners, and therefore, the Second Amendment itself. His views on modern rifles underscore this threat. In 2019, Chipman testified to the House Judiciary Committee:

Simply reinstating the 90s-era ban on assault weapons is not enough...Instead, we should regulate a broader class of firearms, including assault weapons manufactured before the law's enactment...while banning the future manufacture and sale of these firearms.

During his confirmation hearing in May, several Senators pushed Chipman to define what weapons should fall under this classification of “assault weapons.” His initial response was to dodge by saying that Congress should make the definition. Upon further pressing, he cited an ATF program which “has defined an assault rifle as any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine" that holds ammunition "above the .22 caliber, which would include the .223, which is largely the AR-15 round." This definition is so broad that it would include nearly every modern rifle currently bought and sold in America - including AR-15s, the nation’s most popular rifle for self-defense.

Chipman’s nomination could not come at a worse time for Americans. Despite gas-lighting from the White House, Democrats across the country have been working to defund local police departments, which has undoubtedly contributed to the recent surge in violent crime across the country. Homicides are up 49% since 2019, and even the Biden Administration is reluctantly admitting that crime is a problem. With underfunded police departments stretched thin, Americans have understandably sought to buy firearms to ensure that they can protect themselves and their families. David Chipman wants to make it as hard as possible for these Americans (whom he has mocked and disparaged) to utilize their 2nd Amendment rights. Confirming Chipman to lead ATF will immediately make law-abiding citizens less safe.

David Chipman is an anti-gun zealot who will use his post as Director of ATF to attack the rights of Americans across the country. Senators should stand up for the 2nd Amendment and reject David Chipman for this post.

Related: The Heritage Foundation - Biden’s ATF Nominee Amplifies Concerns About Stance on Second Amendment

Heritage Action opposes the confirmation of David Chipman and will include the confirmation vote on our legislative scorecard.