SCOPE NY

David Chipman Part 3

07/13/2021 1:17 PM | Anonymous

David Chipman Part 3  by Tom Reynolds

David Chipman has a history of working with high-profile gun control groups,.  He is the controversial nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). Chipman also has a history of undiplomatic comments about guns, gun owners and how to enforce gun laws and is staunchly opposed by most Republicans.  His nomination did not get the approval of the Senate committee; there was an 11-11 tie which followed party lines.  Without committee approval, the nomination would be dead unless Senator Schumer moves to “discharge the nomination” which means to remove the committee from the process and take the nomination directly to the full Senate for Confirmation.

Schumer intends to do that.

There are two opportunities to stop the nomination by majority vote: defeat the vote to discharge the committee; defeat the nomination itself.  (Unfortunately, Vice President Harris has a tie breaking vote in a 50-50 tie.)  Although both NY Senators will vote wrong on this and approve both motions, there is some hope of defeating this awful nomination.

The reliably unreliable Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who has voted for many of the president's nominees, said she will vote against the "unusually divisive" Chipman. She said this is because he is "an outspoken critic of the firearms industry and has made statements that demean law-abiding gun owners."   (This helps keep intact the 50 Republican votes needed.)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, another Republican swing vote, has not announced a position on Chipman's nomination. (It’s hard to believe that one state could produce such totally opposite female Republican politicians as Murkowski and Sarah Palin.)  Murkowski’s yes vote on Chipman, or a yes vote from any other Republican, would be a big boost to Chipman's chances. If Murkowski votes to not confirm him, at least one Democrat would need to break the Democrat lock step in order to block Chipman's confirmation.  (Let’s hope Murkowski feels the heat from Alaskan gun owners.)

Several Democratic Senators in pro-gun states may (or may not) vote against his nomination.  Montana Senator John Tester “will continue to review David Chipman’s record and testimony to ensure he would support our brave law enforcement officers and respect Montanans’ Second Amendment rights."  (Tester’s commitment to law enforcement is a bit questionable since he also believes that defunding the police is “bad messaging”.  Not wrong, just bad messaging.)  Montana Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen led a letter signed by 21 Republican state attorneys general urging a “no” vote on Chipman and reminded Tester that Montana expects him to protect gun rights.

Several other moderate Democrats from red or purple states haven't taken public stances on the nomination. This group includes Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Angus King, I-Maine.  Recent polling conducted by Cygnal about Chipman’s nomination shows he is strongly opposed by a majority of likely voters in Arizona, Maine, West Virginia and Montana.

Manchin was asked about Chipman's nomination last month and acknowledged that "there's a lot of controversy," according to Politico. "I really am undecided," he said.

Democratic senators have managed to confirm multiple individuals who Republicans unanimously opposed. The only Biden nominee who saw a hearing and then failed to get confirmed was Neera Tanden, the former nominee to run the Office of Management and Budget.  Manchin announced his opposition to Tanden after her confirmation hearing and before her committee vote, largely citing her caustic Twitter history that included broadsides against a number of senators. 

Gun Owners of Maine’s Legislative Scorecard on gun issues rated Angus King a D saying, “As a US Senator, Angus King has voted to ban large capacity magazines and voted against concealed carry reciprocity.  He has endorsed a package of gun control measures by gun control champion Senator Chuck Schumer, including universal background checks”.  (He doesn’t seem like a likely prospect to defect from the Democrat Party Line.)

Arizona’s other Democrat Senator Mark Kelly has a glaring conflict of interest. Kelly is the co-founder of gun control organization Giffords and the Giffords Law Center, which still employs Chipman as a senior policy adviser. It would seem that Kelly has an obligation to recuse himself and not vote, but that would likely sink Chipman’s nomination.  (In D.C., they don’t like ethics interfering with politics.)

Chipman’s approval to head BATFE would be a major blow to the 2nd Amendment and a major arrow in Joe Biden’s quiver of anti-2A arrows.

A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

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East Aurora, NY 14052

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