Gun lobby pulls trigger on Biden’s ATF nominee

Gun lobby pulls trigger on Biden’s ATF nominee

In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo Giffords Law Center Senior Policy Advisor David Chipman speaks at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on assault weapons on Capitol Hill in Washington. The BDN Opinion section operates independently and does not set newsroom policies or contribute to reporting or editing articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com . Griffin Dix is co-chair of the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence chapter in Oakland, California. His son was shot and killed in 1994. This column was produced for The Progressive magazine and distributed by Tribune News Service. In a case that shows the enduring power of the U.S. gun lobby, on Sept. 9 President Joe Biden was forced to withdraw his nomination of David Chipman as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Chipman was well-qualified for the job. He served 25 years as an ATF special agent, and received a prestigious award from the U.S. Department of Justice for his contribution to community partnerships around public safety. But all of the Republican senators — and a few Democratic ones, and an independent, from rural states — opposed him. At Chipman’s Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing, he indicated that he would enforce the nation’s (weak) federal gun laws and work to reduce gun trafficking. He was grilled by senators about a comment he’d jokingly made the previous year that during the pandemic, among the large number of first-time gun purchasers, some were buying guns in preparation “for end […]

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