ATF nominee advances in split panel vote as Cornyn, Cruz join GOP bid to block ‘gun control zealot’

ATF nominee advances in split panel vote as Cornyn, Cruz join GOP bid to block ‘gun control zealot’

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) watches as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks during a press conference regarding S.R. 535 at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas on April 17, 2019. Texas Senate Resolution 535 was passed on April 2. The Senate Judiciary Committee vote to advance David Chipman, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, ended in a tie Thursday morning after fierce partisan debate. Second Amendment advocates have resisted Chipman, a former ATF special agent who currently serves as a senior policy adviser at a leading gun violence prevention group, Giffords . Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz joined other Republicans on the party-line vote. With the Senate divided 50-50, committee slots are also split evenly between the parties but in case of a tie, a nomination moves to the floor. Republicans are expected to continue to try to block the nomination. “We don’t believe law-abiding gun owners are a threat to public safety, unlike, apparently, the nominee,” Cornyn said during the hearing. “I will not support Mr. Chipman’s nomination for the very reason that he views all law-abiding Americans as potential criminals. I think that’s disqualifying.” Cruz rejected Democrats’ contention that opposition is motivated by the “frightful specter” of the NRA. “There is a simpler explanation, which is that the American people actually value our right to keep and bear arms,” Cruz said. “Mr. Chipman is a gun control zealot.” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, the committee chairman, noted that in […]

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