The reaction from anti-gun activists to the news that Joe Biden is nominating one of their own to head up the federal agency that oversees our nation’s gun laws is pretty much what you’d expect; they’re giddy and gleeful over the possibilities to come with Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Giffords alumnus David Chipman returning to the ATF, where he served as an agent for 25 years.
The executive actions just unveiled by @WhiteHouse represent monumental progress to reduce gun violence.
— Brady | United Against Gun Violence (@bradybuzz) April 8, 2021
Everytown For Gun Safety is thrilled as well. The groups swiftly released a statement after the White House posted the list of Biden’s actions on Wednesday evening, claiming that the rules that the Justice Department is supposed to work on for the next two months will save lives.
“Each of these executive actions will start to address the epidemic of gun violence that has raged throughout the pandemic, and begin to make good on President Biden’s promise to be the strongest gun safety president in history,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun safety. “In particular, ghost guns allow anyone, anywhere to easily obtain an untraceable firearm, and the Biden administration’s decision to treat them like the deadly weapons they are will undoubtedly save countless lives – as will the critical funding provided to groups that focus on city gun violence. We are also thrilled about the nomination of David Chipman to head the ATF, whose extensive law enforcement experience makes him uniquely qualified for the job. David will be an invaluable point person as this administration looks to fight illegal gun trafficking and end the special treatment of the gun industry. Finally, we are glad to hear the administration’s commitment that today’s actions are just the beginning, and look forward to continuing to work closely with them to end gun violence in this country.”
Biden’s attempt to require sales of unfinished frames and receivers go through a background check isn’t going to put a dent in violent crime, and Feinblatt knows that. It’s possible for a criminal to print a gun off a 3D printer if they really wanted to, but the vast majority of armed criminals will still acquire their guns through theft, family and friends, and the black market.
No, it’s Chipman’s nomination that has the anti-gun movement so fired up, and rightfully so. Imagine the reaction if Donald Trump had named Ronnie Barrett or Marty Daniels of Daniel Defense as the head of the ATF. Second Amendment activists would have been jazzed, and gun control groups and the media would have had a field day accusing the administration of playing politics and putting a “tool of the gun lobby” in charge of the government agency. Well, now Biden’s done the anti-gun equivalent; tapping a veteran of both the ATF and the gun control industry itself to serve as his point man on firearm policy and regulation.
While gun control groups are excited, Second Amendment activists are gearing up for a fight.
I think that President Biden will try to get away with as much as he can with executive orders,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, told Fox News, adding that his organization is “very prepared to go to court” if Biden oversteps.
“What we’re expecting him to do is anything with foreign commerce – if the firearm is being imported in or magazine or ammo is being imported in – he could by executive order try to do something in that nature,” Gottlieb continued.
Gottlieb said Biden could use the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to tighten regulations.
Gottlieb spoke to Fox News before word about Chipman’s appointment had leaked, but even before the announcement had been made the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation could see where Biden was going. The NRA also referenced Chipman’s nomination in its first tweet reacting to the news of Biden’s new orders.
BREAKING: Biden announced multiple extreme gun control actions.
These actions could require law-abiding citizens to surrender lawful property, and push states to expand gun confiscation orders.
— NRA (@NRA) April 8, 2021
The Firearms Policy Coalition is warming up its “lawsuit printer” after hearing the news.
— 𝙵𝚒𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚖𝚜 𝙿𝚘𝚕𝚒𝚌𝚢 𝙲𝚘𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 (@gunpolicy) April 8, 2021
Gun Owners of America also weighed in on the White House release, vowing to fight any attempt to go after DIY firearms and stabilizing braces and reacting to the news of Chipman’s nomination.
GOA is also shocked at the brazen decision to nominate a registered anti-gun lobbyist to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. David Chipman’s anti-constitutional lobbying career clearly disqualifies him from holding public office.
Well, it only takes 51 senators to confirm Chipman, so let’s hope Joe Manchin and Republican Susan Collins of Maine are listening, because Manchin is the Democrat most likely to object to Chipman’s nomination, while I’d say Collins has the greatest potential to cross over the aisle and support his confirmation.
Personally, I think there are a number of reasons why even Democrats should be opposed to Chipman running the ATF, but that’s going to have to wait for another post later today.