Several key Senate Democratic senators have remained undecided on support for President Biden’s pro-gun control nominee for Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), David Chipman.
The Hill is reporting that Democrats would likely need all 50 members of their caucus to vote in favor of Chipman in order to overcome the lack of support from Republicans.
But, they say, four of those senators – Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Independent Angus King (ME) – have not committed to Chipman’s confirmation as of yet.
Chipman has made radical comments about the Second Amendment.
Late last month a Senate panel voted along party lines to advance Chipman’s nomination for a full Senate vote.
At the time of the Senate panel’s advancement vote, Fox News reported that only Manchin had indicated he was “undecided” as to how he would vote.
Now Democrats are reportedly being forced to whip up support due to a few others who have yet to commit.
Tester on Tuesday indicated, for example, that he hasn’t “made a determination yet.”
King has also not voiced his opinion on Chipman’s nomination of yet, while The Hill writes that Sinema “typically doesn’t announce nomination votes in advance.”
At his CPAC speech last week, Donald Trump Jr. urged Manchin and Tester to oppose ATF Director nominee David Chipman, saying he “worked actively for the anti-gun lobby.”
And indeed, CNN has described Chipman as a “fierce advocate for gun control” who spent over two decades as a special agent with the ATF and has worked as a senior policy adviser for ‘Giffords,’ a gun control group formed by former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ).
“I want you to speak to your senators in, perhaps, purple states, where you have Democratic senators that claim to be for the Second Amendment,” Trump told conservatives in the audience.
“Ask them, are they going to nominate someone that says they’re going to take your guns away, your AR-15?”
“With respect to the AR-15, I support a ban as has been presented in a senate bill and supported by the president,” Chipman told Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) at the time.
Chipman has also argued in favor of a “well-regulated” Second Amendment.
Writing in an op-ed for The Roanoke Times earlier this year, the nominee for ATF Director argued against local governments declaring themselves ‘Second Amendment sanctuaries.’
“The Second Amendment envisions firearms as being ‘well regulated,’ and individual sheriffs aren’t entitled to decide whether a particular regulation is constitutional—that’s the job of the courts,” he wrote.
Last month, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) announced legislation that would abolish the ATF in part due to Chipman’s potential role should he be confirmed.
Greene argued that Chipman as potential director of the ATF is “a clear indication that the ATF’s war on gun owners is about to crank up.”
Trump said the key Democrat senators who remain noncommital to the nomination “talk about being for the Second Amendment … but you can’t be on both sides of this one, guys.”
“You’re going to have to make up your mind,” he added.
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