Pro-gun groups step up lobbying campaign against Biden ATF pick

Pro-gun groups step up lobbying campaign against Biden ATF pick

David Chipman, President Biden ’s pick to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), is facing intense opposition from gun rights groups that are pushing key senators to reject his nomination. Chipman spent 25 years with ATF as a special agent. But pro-gun organizations are protesting his nomination over his support for stricter gun laws and previous work as a policy adviser for Giffords, a gun control group. After launching a lobbying campaign with expensive ad buys ahead of Chipman’s confrontational confirmation hearing in late May, gun groups are now focused on moderates who could swing the outcome, namely Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.). “It will come down to a couple of votes, and we all know who,” said Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Defeating Chipman’s nomination is a top priority for the lobbying group, which argues he would reinterpret existing laws to crack down on firearm manufacturers. During his Senate hearing, Chipman told lawmakers he supports banning the AR-15 rifle, but said he would stick to enforcing the laws on the books if confirmed. Gun groups will need to sway at least one Democrat in the 50-50 Senate to defeat Chipman’s nomination. NSSF is trying to dissuade Democratic senators from supporting Chipman by making the case that his confirmation would lead to the politicization of ATF. “It would set a very bad precedent for ATF as […]

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