2021 News Releases

AG Derek Schmidt: Biden nominee to lead ATF wrong choice, threat to 2nd Amendment rights

Release Date: May 26, 2021

TOPEKA – (May 26, 2021) – The U.S. Senate should reject the nomination of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives over concerns about his approach to public safety and the Second Amendment and rights of millions of law-abiding gun owners, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

Schmidt joined a coalition of 19 other state attorneys general in sending a letter to U.S. Senate leaders urging them to reject Chipman’s nomination as director of the ATF. The letter cites Chipman’s previous statements and activities with organizations seeking to dismantle the Second Amendment as reason to reject his nomination.

Chipman has spent the past five years as senior policy advisor to the Giffords Law Center, an organization that attempted to defend Washington, D.C.’s ban on the possession of handguns in the home in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The organization wrongly argued that the Second Amendment does not restrain states or political subdivisions when enacting firearm regulations.

“Given Mr. Chipman’s history of anti-gun lobbying and political activism, Americans cannot be reasonably expected to believe he will be an unbiased enforcer of current laws,” the attorneys general wrote. “As the chief law enforcement or legal officers in our respective states, we are concerned that Mr. Chipman will make Americans less safe by diverting ATF resources to attack the rights of law-abiding gun owners instead of cracking down on violent criminals and criminal organizations.”

The letter notes that Chipman testified in 2019 before Congress that he wanted to ban the manufacturing and sale of AR-15s, forcing existing owners to be subject to a $200 tax, fingerprinting and additional background checks.

“Mr. Chipman has a First Amendment right as a private citizen to work for these political organizations and to lobby for the taxation, registration, and even confiscation of firearms,” the letter states. “Americans likewise have the Second Amendment to protect their God-given rights to keep and bear arms.”

A copy of the letter to the senators can be found at https://bit.ly/2RJYebf.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.