PA Bill Number: HB1340
Title: In inchoate crimes, further providing for the offense of use or possession of electric or electronic incapacitation device.
Description: In inchoate crimes, further providing for the offense of use or possession of electric or electronic incapacitation device. ...
Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY
Last Action Date: May 5, 2021
NYTimes: ATF Is Key To Biden's Gun Control Plans :: 05/03/2021
It looks like a confirmation hearing for the former ATF agent turned gun control activists who Joe Biden nominated to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives will take place in just a few weeks, and the administration appears to be engaging in a bit of pre-hearing spin with the help of the New York Times. In a lengthy new piece, reporters Danny Hakim and Mike McIntire portray the agency that oversees our nation’s gun laws and firearms industry as the “whipping boy” for the NRA in years past, but the ATF is now at the heart of Biden’s gun control agenda.
The Times neglects to mention that one of the reasons why the ATF has had a difficult time getting a permanent director confirmed is because Democrats have offered up some candidates that simply couldn’t pass muster with a majority of the U.S. Senate. In 2010, for instance, Barack Obama nominated ATF agent Andrew Traver as permanent director, but his nomination never received a vote on the Senate floor because a number of senators had voiced their concerns over Traver’s anti-gun attitudes.
Obama’s second nominee, B. Todd Jones, was ultimately confirmed by the Senate but remained in the job for less than two years before retiring in 2015 and taking a job with the NFL.
Despite Traver’s anti-gun rhetoric scuttling his chances at the top job, the Biden administration has also nominated a former agent with deep ties to the gun control movement. David Chipman spent 25 years at the ATF, but has also spent nearly a decade working for gun control groups like Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Giffords. According to the Times, Chipman may not have the votes to be confirmed either, though the paper says he does have the backing of one of the most important members of the Senate these days.
If Chipman isn’t confirmed by the Senate, Biden could still appoint him as acting director, though he wouldn’t have quite as much power and authority as he would if he’s confirmed permanently to the position.
We’ll see if the confirmation hearing actually takes place later this month. I’ve had several industry officials tell me that they’d be surprised to see it happen, but with the Senate filibuster in place, Biden’s legislative agenda to enact new gun laws is stalled, and that means that the ATF really is the lynchpin for his plans to curtail gun violence by targeting legal gun owners. In the coming days and weeks, gun owners should be contacting their senators to urge them to oppose Chipman’s nomination. Gun control activists may believe that the ATF has become the NRA’s “whipping boy”, but they want to turn the federal agency into their own attack dog.