Senate Democrats from gun-friendly states leave Biden ATF nomination in limbo

Senate Democrats from gun-friendly states leave Biden ATF nomination in limbo

Just In… A handful of Senate Democrats from gun-friendly states will likely decide whether David Chipman gets confirmed as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Chipman, a 20-year ATF employee who after his retirement worked with gun control groups, has drawn the ire of many Republican senators. And Chipman is proving to be one of the more contentious nominees put forward by President Joe Biden. Two weeks after an evenly-divided Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked along party lines on advancing Chipman’s nomination to the full Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has given no indication he would move Chipman’s nomination to the floor for a vote. The 50-50 Senate division calls for Vice President Kamala Harris to cast tiebreaking votes along party lines, but five Democrats have yet to announce whether they will support Chipman’s nomination. If confirmed, Chipman would be charged with enforcing current federal gun laws in a position that has been held by acting directors for the past 15 years. Republicans argue Chipman is too wedded to his gun-control activism for the post, while Democrats say his longtime experience in law enforcement and understanding of firearms makes him a perfect fit for the job. But the five Democrats make Chimpan’s chances for confirmation dicey. They represent states favorable to guns to varying degrees. And all are up for reelection in the 2022 or 2024 cycles. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana is one of those lawmakers. He comes from a state where law-abiding citizens, since […]

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