David Chipman represents everything wrong with the ATF. By now, we hope you are aware that this person was tapped by Biden to be nominated for the position of ATF Director. Yesterday, on May 26th, Chipman’s first confirmation hearing was held in the Senate and we actually enjoyed watching it because he was grilled pretty hard. 

A Brief Introduction

Chipman’s pedigree as an anti-gunner is as high as it gets. He spent 25 years with the ATF as a special agent and was directly involved in the Waco Massacre which was a 51-day siege which left 75 civilians dead among which were 25 children. Yet, Chipman is proud of how the ATF handled that event and saw nothing wrong with it. He was also involved with the Fast and Furious Operation in which guns were provided to Cartels in hopes of catching them in the act of illegal firearms trafficking — they lost track of all those guns. 

Yet, Chipman continues to push for American citizens’ firearms to be serialized and tracked even more than they already are. Currently, he works as a senior policy advisor at the Giffords organization which strongly advocates for gun control. In the eyes of anti-gunners, this guy is a gold medalist. Several posts have been taken down but Chipman has also been very active in the mainstream and social media in the past with his posts against the AR-15, silencers and first time American gun buyers. 

Hearing Notes 

These were our main takeaways from interactions between Chipman and Senators’ line of questioning regarding key topics:

Chipman at Waco

Waco- Chipman denies that he was involved in Waco, he was not there and that the photos circulating the internet are not him. He also backtracked and corrected himself in saying that .50 BMG rifles were not used to shoot down law enforcement helicopters but were forced down by Branch Davidians’ small arms fire. 

Minority Report- While Chipman stated that he believes there is an individual right to guns he wants to intervene before people commit crimes… Sounds like a Tom Cruise movie we know. Fun movie, but in real life this would be a fundamental violation of due process and a clear disregard of the 2nd Amendment. 

Plan To Stop Gun Violence- In response to Senator Feinstein; Chipman stated he wants to stop gun trafficking to accomplish this (lol). Feinstein called us a “gun happy nation.” 

ATF Inventory Inspections- Sen. Feinstine expressed her discontent with how only 15% of FFL dealers get inspections each year. If nominated, Chipman committed that he would increase the inspections to every dealer once every 3 years. Good luck with that with your less than 1,800 agents against the 53,000 plus dealers across the country.

New Gun Owners- Through social media posts, Chipman has shown much disdain for new gun owners that have massively increased due to the huge spike of shortages in supplies, utilities and civil unrest in the past year and half. 

Background Checks- Senator Lee asked why Chipman was so against new gun owners, why he had such contempt for them especially when most new gun owners are minorities and women. Chipman’s response was that he meant that people who fail background checks should be arrested for that crime. It was an out of context answer and also ironic because when confronted about Hunter Biden lying on a 4473 form about his drug usage, he only loosely committed to looking into whether Hunter’s own statement about himself in an autobiography was true. If found to be true, it would render Hunter Biden a felon and strip him of all gun owning rights. Chipman said himself that “he would have a duty to enforce the law without political favors” so we hope to see him honor his word.

Silencers- Sen. Lee went after Chipman for his recorded opposition towards silencers, “The only people who benefit from silencers are criminals and gun lobbyists.” After being challenged, Chipman backpedalled a little bit and said that people who want to buy silencers to protect their hearing can do so. 

Public Sentiment- Chipman claimed that none of his views on guns are out of line with public sentiment on several issues. Senator Cruz challenged that by reminding him the AR-15 was the most popular gun in America yet he wanted to ban it outright. His reasoning: “it’s a very dangerous gun I used when I was in the SWAT team.”

Registration- Chipman went on record stating that he wanted an Assault Weapons Ban stronger than Sen. Feinsteins by expanding the NFA to basically all guns. He also made it clear that if people did not register their guns, he would want to confiscate them.

District of Columbia v. Heller- Chipman went on record saying that there is a right to guns and that the Supreme Court case of Heller was rightly decided. (The Supreme Court held that the 2A guarantees an individual right to possess firearms independent of service in a state militia and to use firearms for traditionally lawful purposes, including self-defense within the home).

Secret Service and School Security- Chipman stated in the past that the Secret Service shouldn’t carry guns and that schools should use the same practices. Chipman denied this claim and said that schools should have metal detectors which can “be hardened to keep people out.” Good thing he’s not the superintendent of any school district in the nation…

Ghost Guns- Senator Whitehouse and Blumenthal made it very clear and obvious that they are against ghost guns. Chipman supported their statements by saying untraceable guns make cases difficult to solve therefore serial numbers are essential for gun tracing. 

Assault Weapon Definition- Chipman states that “any semi automatic rifle that takes a detachable magazine is an assault rifle.” He also stated that an assault weapon is “whatever congress says it is.” Senator Cotton said this was a made up category and wasn’t real as per Chipman’s definition that would encompass just about every one of the most common guns for sale today. 

What Guns Does Chipman Own- Chipman gave up the fact that he owned a special edition Smith & Wesson revolver but said that this was “a very personal question.” Interesting that he wants an expanded gun registry for all American but won’t publicly share what guns he owns himself. 

That’s all for now, we expect there to be a couple more hearings before the nomination of Chipman and several others are decided as final. Write to your Senators that you oppose his nomination for the sake of all our 2A rights!