ATF nominee’s gun stances prompt Republican pushback – Roll Call

ATF nominee's gun stances prompt Republican pushback - Roll Call

A nominee to lead a federal gun regulation and enforcement bureau drew criticism Wednesday from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee for his previous advocacy for gun control actions such as banning assault-style rifles. David Chipman told senators that he took one position as an advocate on potential gun control laws, but would only enforce the current laws as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. For example, under questioning from Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on whether he wanted to ban AR-15-style guns, Chipman said his view as an advocate would be to ban their manufacture and sale and also use an existing law to regulate those already owned by Americans. “As ATF director, if confirmed, I would simply enforce the law on the books, and right now there is no such ban on those guns,” Chipman said. Chipman, who left the ATF as a special agent and became an advocate at several gun control organizations, will face stiff opposition from Republicans as part of the political and social clash between advocates for gun rights and for preventing gun violence. The confirmation hearing took place at the same time as a mass shooting at a San Jose railyard that authorities said left eight dead, along with the shooter, and reports of explosive devices in the building. Chairman Richard J. Durbin of Illinois started questioning by giving Chipman a warning, and then a chance to address some false information, including an altered photograph to make it […]

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