Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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President Biden’s choice to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) struggled under questioning from Republican senators at his confirmation hearing Wednesday, declining to identify which guns he would want banned as assault weapons.

“You have called for an assault weapons ban,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) told David Chipman during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “I have a simple question for you: What is an assault weapon?”

“Senator,” Chipman answered, “an assault weapon would be, in the context of the question you asked, what Congress defines it as.”

“So you’re asking us to ban assault weapons,” Cotton answered. “We have to write legislation. Can you tell me, what is an assault weapon? How would you define it if you were the head of the ATF? How have you defined it over the last several years in your role as a gun control advocate?”

Citing firearm sale reports on the southwestern border, Chipman claimed the ATF defines 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.”

“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?” asked a visibly incredulous Cotton.

As Chipman stumbled over his response, Cotton attempted to confirm his earlier answer.

“A detachable magazine that takes a .556 or .22 round should be defined as an assault weapon?” the Republican asked.

“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 responded.

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

There is no legal definition of the terms “assault weapon” or “assault rifle.” The National Rifle Association (NRA) uses the military definition of assault rifle, describing it as “a selective-fire rifle chambered for a cartridge of intermediate power.

“If applied to any semi-automatic firearm regardless of its cosmetic similarity to a true assault rifle, the term is incorrect,” the definition on the NRA website continues.

Chipman, a former ATF special agent and senior policy adviser for the gun control organization Giffords, was less ambiguous about the AR-15. He told Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that “I support a ban” on the rifle, which he was issued as a member of an ATF SWAT team.

“It’s a particularly lethal weapon, and regulating it as other particularly lethal weapons, I have advocated for,” said Chipman, who added, “as ATF director, if I’m confirmed, I would simply enforce the laws in the books and right now, there is no such ban on those guns.”

Chipman also walked back incorrect claims he made during a Reddit Q&A that members of the Branch Davidians sect members shot down two government helicopters during the FBI and ATF siege of their compound at Waco, Texas, in the spring of 1993.

“I could have done a better job by describing them as being ‘forced down’ because of the gunfire as opposed to shot down, which might have left the impression that they were blown out of the sky, which they were not,” Chipman said. “And I regret that confusion I added.”

Cotton also pressed Chipman on whether he would have the ATF investigate reports that first son Hunter Biden violated federal law by lying about his history of drug use in order to purchase a firearm in 2018.

“Hunter Biden has … published a book and gone on a nationwide book tour conducting numerous interviews stating that he was, in fact, very much addicted to drugs at the same time that he purchased this firearm,” Cotton said.

“This would mean that by his own admission Hunter Biden lied on that form, and by your earlier testimony, committed a serious felony. Should Hunter Biden be prosecuted for breaking this law? … Can I get your commitment that if you are confirmed you will, in fact, look into this matter and refer it for prosecution if you find that Hunter Biden violated the law?”

“I will ensure that all violations of law are investigated and referred to,” said Chipman, who went on to say, “I’m not sure that it has not been investigated.”
https://nypost.com/2021/05/26/biden-atf ... t-hearing/

Hopefully he won't pass confirmation. I would still love the ATF to adopt the military definition of an assault weapon.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer-Kissinger
Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired.-Swift

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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Perhaps the definition of an assault rifle should be used. It is defined and has been since WW2. However, I object to limiting the people from access to such since it is contrary to the bill of rights. In order to be able to be called up one needs the same basic arms as needed in the military.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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Dude doesn't come across as prepared. Maybe not even competent. Having to amend his testimony on the Branch Davidian raid - which lives in infamy for ATF - does not bode well for his ability to survive hostile questioning. Looking to ban everything down to the 10/22 is just silly - especially if we get into the rifle vs. pistol definition problem. Besides, you know the day they passed that, there would be a glut of AR-15s chambered in .17 Hornet.

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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Not only is he absolutely not a competent prospect: He is an anti-gun zealot in line with Betsy Devos as pick for head of the Department of Education.

This is a guy who is in the pocket of anti-gun propagandists and has severe conflicts of interest. This is a gift from Biden to Everytown For Gun Safety/Giffords/Brady Campaign/ The Trace, etc...

https://cheddar.com/media/as-firearm-sa ... -guns-away

This rogue activist has no place at a seat in government, and Biden should be harshly criticized for allowing big money from special interest groups to influence his decision for this nominee.

Chipman falsely claimed that the Branch Davidians used ".50 caliber Barretts" to shoot down two helicopters supporting the ATF at Waco. That's Trump-level falsehood and "alternative" reality.
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The real danger here is not that Waco wasn't a cult-fueled nightmare (which it certainly was), but that Chipman was on the ground with the ATF who used "constructive posession" as a means to gain a search warrant in the first place. If that was able to happen with Chipman leading the charge (or perhaps hiding in the back) in the 90s; where the warrants were obtained by claiming that the Davidians had parts that were almost certainly bought legally prior to 1986, that sets the scene for what could happen after these agencies manage to ban parts and guns that are legal now... AND he thinks that the ATF did a good job there.



He wants to ban nearly EVERY semi-auto rifle in existence (unless you have a .17HMR), ban private sales, and if you think the ATF is a mess now, imagine if he gets a hold of it.

In Chipman's ideal world, if you have a 10/22 (which he claims is "particularly lethal") in 20 years, you could be "guilty" of that same "constructive possession".

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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Cotton has White House ambitions, he was playing to the national TV audience, just like Kamala Harris did when she'd grill witnesses in Senate hearings. Whoever in the Biden administration prepped Chipman for this hearing did a lousy job unless the stumbling and bumbling was intentional.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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highdesert wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 7:10 am Cotton has White House ambitions, he was playing to the national TV audience, just like Kamala Harris did when she'd grill witnesses in Senate hearings. Whoever in the Biden administration prepped Chipman for this hearing did a lousy job unless the stumbling and bumbling was intentional.
The problem is that he's giving a political answer to a simple question ("What is an 'assault rifle'").

That's not a good look, and a sign of the type of "leader" he'd be.

Hopefully he's not confirmed.

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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I enjoyed reading the press release from Operation Blazing Sword on this:


https://www.blazingsword.org/operation- ... s-release/

A brief quote:
The ATF’s purpose is not to punish firearm owners, but the appointment of David Chipman as its Director will have that effect. Chipman is a lobbyist, bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg, and he will use his position to interpret firearm regulations in the manner most favorable to these modern-day Redcoats, and quite possibly enrich himself in the process, all while increasing new laws and new regulations which will be used to harass innocent citizens.
Eventually I'll figure out this signature thing and decide what I want to put here.

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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Larry Keane, from back in April:
HERE’S WHY DAVID CHIPMAN IS A TERRIBLE CHOICE FOR ATF DIRECTOR
Among the bills he lobbied Congress were universal background checks, handgun licensing and registration, banning modern sporting rifles (MSRs), instituting age-based gun bans and to establish a national firearm transfer delay period.

That’s an unacceptable starting point for any nominee for this position. It’s putting the fox in charge of watching the hen house. The inverse would be if President Donald Trump had nominated Wayne LaPierre to take the job during his administration. The mainstream media and gun control camp would have howled, and not without cause. That’s why NSSF won’t passively simply oppose this nomination. NSSF is adamantly opposed. It will treat this nomination, and any senators who vote in favor of it, as the threat to the firearm industry and Americans’ ability to exercise their fundamental Second Amendment rights that it is.

Chipman is unqualified and unworthy of this position of public trust. The U.S. Senate has a role to advise and consent, and it must examine the factors that make Chipman unacceptable as the ATF director.

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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highdesert wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:03 pm I think Biden's staff were listening to the Gifford's Center where Chipman worked after he retired and didn't do a thorough vetting. I don't know who else they considered for the job.
I think they knew exactly who they were nominating.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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sikacz wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:09 pm
highdesert wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:03 pm I think Biden's staff were listening to the Gifford's Center where Chipman worked after he retired and didn't do a thorough vetting. I don't know who else they considered for the job.
I think they knew exactly who they were nominating.
Of course they did. Democrat hypocrisy is no different than republican. Fuck everyone not on "your side" and express outrage when the other side does same.

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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Hear me out.
1. Nominate deeply problematic GC advocate to ATF.
2. Do NOT prepare him for hostile questioning. If any prep was done, ensure it is counterproductive.
3. Watch predictable nomination failure.
4. Pick reasonable, qualified candidate to do the actual job.
5. Whinge about GOP obstruction of 'common-sense' gun laws and nominees to the GC lobby for the next three years.
6. Profit.

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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wings wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:33 pm Hear me out.
1. Nominate deeply problematic GC advocate to ATF.
2. Do NOT prepare him for hostile questioning. If any prep was done, ensure it is counterproductive.
3. Watch predictable nomination failure.
4. Pick reasonable, qualified candidate to do the actual job.
5. Whinge about GOP obstruction of 'common-sense' gun laws and nominees to the GC lobby for the next three years.
6. Profit.
That’s optimistic. I don’t think they are that smart. I could be wrong though.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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He seems surprisingly ignorant about firearms but he does have strong opinions. He would outlaw a semi auto Remington because of the magazine and keep the M1 and SKS. If this is an example of the Bidden's administration philosophy it is scary. They want to take the guns away. This is bad. I can buy into universal background checks and think they might be useful. But if your policies are those represented by Chipman , you will only get resistance to all proposals. Chipman seems to have picked up the reputed fascist slogan from the Spainish civil war "Death to moderation!". If you look at his testimony he dodged answering if he thought the Heller decision was correct. He has no place in the ATF.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" Ben Franklin
Beto in wisconsin

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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beto wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 4:04 pm He seems surprisingly ignorant about firearms but he does have strong opinions. He would outlaw a semi auto Remington because of the magazine and keep the M1 and SKS. If this is an example of the Bidden's administration philosophy it is scary. They want to take the guns away. This is bad. I can buy into universal background checks and think they might be useful. But if your policies are those represented by Chipman , you will only get resistance to all proposals. Chipman seems to have picked up the reputed fascist slogan from the Spainish civil war "Death to moderation!". If you look at his testimony he dodged answering if he thought the Heller decision was correct. He has no place in the ATF.
I'm not in favor of federal universal background checks unless some rights are restored.

We have them in my state and they do no good. If we want policies and laws that do no good because Antis feel "good" about them, then lets get something in return for our cooperation.

Hearing Protection Act, promise that braces and other parts will be left alone, and national reciprocity for CCLs would be a start.

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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David Chipman, President Biden’s pick to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), is facing intense opposition from gun rights groups that are pushing key senators to reject his nomination. Chipman spent 25 years with ATF as a special agent.

But pro-gun organizations are protesting his nomination over his support for stricter gun laws and previous work as a policy adviser for Giffords, a gun control group. After launching a lobbying campaign with expensive ad buys ahead of Chipman’s confrontational confirmation hearing in late May, gun groups are now focused on moderates who could swing the outcome, namely Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

“It will come down to a couple of votes, and we all know who,” said Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Defeating Chipman’s nomination is a top priority for the lobbying group, which argues he would reinterpret existing laws to crack down on firearm manufacturers. During his Senate hearing, Chipman told lawmakers he supports banning the AR-15 rifle, but said he would stick to enforcing the laws on the books if confirmed. Gun groups will need to sway at least one Democrat in the 50-50 Senate to defeat Chipman’s nomination.

NSSF is trying to dissuade Democratic senators from supporting Chipman by making the case that his confirmation would lead to the politicization of ATF. “It would set a very bad precedent for ATF as an organization, because I think it would be highly likely that a Republican administration would then nominate somebody for the position from the [gun] industry or the National Rifle Association,” Keane said. “Democrats would be screaming from the mountaintops if that happened, and they would be justified.”

NSSF frequently sues ATF to undo its gun regulations. But the industry group is telling lawmakers it opposes Chipman, not the agency itself, which it partners with on gun safety measures.

The group hasn’t opposed any other nominees for ATF director since the post became a Senate-confirmed position, and it supported former President Obama’s ATF nominee, B. Todd Jones, who was confirmed in 2013.

“That really caught people’s attention,” Keane said. “Senate offices said they weren’t aware of that fact and were thankful to know it. We cannot be cast as being reflexively opposed to whoever is nominated.”

NSSF held a virtual fly-in last month, connecting its members with senators from both parties, including Manchin and Murkowski.

The NRA has been taking a different approach, with a multi-million dollar ad campaign in senators’ home states over the past two months. The group said it will spend another $500,000 in the coming week on ads, mailers and in-person town halls to keep the pressure on moderate senators.

“Biden nominated radical gun control lobbyist David Chipman to lead ATF, but Sen. Joe Manchin can stop him,” a West Virginia NRA ad says. “Contact Joe Manchin’s office today and tell Joe to vote against Chipman’s nomination and reject President Biden’s extreme gun control agenda.”

Giffords and Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund responded last week, spending $150,000 to air TV and digital ads in D.C. featuring retired ATF agents.
Gun control groups have increased their influence in Washington amid a surge of mass shootings over the last decade. But pro-gun groups still outspent them nearly five-to-one on lobbying last year, according to OpenSecrets.org. NSSF is the top lobbying spender through the first three months of 2021, shelling out nearly $1.1 million.
Chipman’s nomination is expected to make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote, as the Senate’s few moderates don’t serve on the panel. The committee has not yet scheduled a vote.

On the Senate floor, pro-gun groups will need to win over at least one Democrat and every Republican to sink Chipman’s nomination.

Manchin hasn’t said how he would vote, but in April he told CNN that Chipman was “well qualified.” Tester, a supporter of gun rights, also hasn’t staked out a position on Biden’s nominee. Last week, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen (R) and 20 other attorneys general urged Tester to vote against Chipman’s nomination.
https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying ... n-atf-pick

Democrats will be out beating up Manchin again, Tester may have the most to lose and don't know where Sinema stands. Kelly isn't likely to vote against his wife's group.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Biden ATF pick David Chipman botches assault rifle definition at contentious hearing

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NegativeApproach wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:58 am
wings wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:45 pm That's like expecting to "get something back" every time the GOP restricts abortion.
Abortion shouldn't be restricted. Using random outliers to cause outrage is not how you create logical and sound policy. The Anti gun folks and the anti abortion folks have a lot in common. They're two sides of the same coin.
That's the point - compromise is only possible with people who believe compromise is a virtue. Both sides here believe they're protecting the innocent, and that compromise is complicity.

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