President Joe Biden nominating noted gun control advocate David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is akin to making antifa the chief of the Portland Police Department, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a stunning rebuke.
"Many see putting a committed gun control proponent like Mr. Chipman in charge of ATF is like putting a Tobacco executive in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services or Antifa in charge of the Portland Police Department," Grassley wrote in a press release Wednesday before Chipman's appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Portland has been rocked by antifa and Black Lives Matter protests and riots for the past year as protesters seek to defund the police and fundemental change in American policing.
Grassley, the ranking member of the committee, was willing to listen, however, to the former law enforcement officer and gun control advocate.
"Ever since Mr. Chipman was announced I have been hearing from alarmed constituents who care about their rights under the Second Amendment," Grassley wrote in his opening statement.
"Mr. Chipman seems to have worked for every prominent gun control group in the country. He's been described by CNN as 'a fierce advocate for gun control.' There isn't a liberal hobbyhorse on guns that he hasn't ridden — whether it's misleading the public about modern sport rifles, arguing against popular magazine sizes or advocating for universal background checks."
Grassley warned of Chipman's comments just last year. He said, "If you keep [the gun store] open, there's the risk of first-time buyers who are largely buying out of fear and panic and untrained."
Grassley called it "of particular concern" to have an ATF director holding Americans in "contempt" for merely exercising their constitutional right to bear arms.
"ATF is a significant law-enforcement agency," Grassley's statement continued. "We mostly hear about it when it messes up, whether it's Waco, Operation Fast and Furious or the Chicago stash-house scandals. But day-to-day ATF plays a significant role in the legal trade of firearms in this country."
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