Possession of the most popular gun in the United States, the AR-15 rifle, hangs in the balance with the nomination of David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Chipman, who was nominated by Joe Biden to lead the AFT, said at his confirmation hearing that he supports the AR-15 ban.
A Senate panel vetted Chipman, along with other nominees for Justice Department positions, and in his presence, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) questioned his position.
The AR-15 is the most popular gun in the U.S.
“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?”
Chipman responded, “I support a ban as has been presented in a Senate bill and supported by the President.”
Cruz continued, “So, you want to ban the most popular gun in America.”
Cruz then referenced Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) 2013 legislation, which was designed “to ban about 2,000 specific rifles and other firearms.” Cruz noted that the Senate voted on Feinstein’s bill in 2013 and only 40 senators voted for it while “60 voted against it,” despite the fact that Democrats controlled the Senate.
He went on to note that one of the reasons the ban was rejected was because a Justice Department study showed that the 1994 “assault weapons” ban “has no measurable impact on violent crime.”
According to the Town Hall website, Chipman said he believes AR-15s that have already been legally purchased by millions of Americans should be registered and those who refuse to do so should face criminal charges.
Cruz responded, ““So when you say it did not go far enough, you mean you don’t just want to ban the manufacture of those rifles, you don’t just want to make it illegal to sell those rifles, but you want to actively have government go after the people who currently possess [them]. And if they don’t register and submit to all of the onerous restrictions of the NFA presumably confiscate their weapons?”
Chipman responded, “As an advocate I prefer a system where the AR-15 and other ‘assault weapons’ are regulated under the NFA.”
The Second Amendment to the Constitution recognizes the right of Americans to bear arms, for many one of the hallmarks of the country and one of the reasons they sell so much.
Attorneys general from 20 states across the country recently sent a letter to the Senate to reject David Chipman for the ATF post.
The attorneys general said Chipman’s confirmation “is an attack on the rights of millions of law-abiding gun owners across the country.
Also on May 4, dozens of House Republicans signed a letter to the Senate condemning the nomination.
“Chipman’s confirmation would not only jeopardize the constitutional right of every lawful gun owner in America, but would also threaten to reshape the landscape of gun ownership for generations to come,” the letter said.