July 14, 2021

Durbin: We Need David Chipman, Nominee to Lead ATF, To Help Enforce Nation's Gun Laws & Reduce Crime

ATF has been without a Senate-confirmed Director since 2015

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today voiced his strong support for David Chipman, President Biden’s nominee to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).   In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin said Mr. Chipman would be essential in helping the nation enforce the gun laws already on the books and helping reduce gun crime.  The ATF has been without a Senate-confirmed Director since 2015.

“David Chipman is the nominee for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives… He is a veteran of [over] 20 years of working for this agency,” Durbin said.  “He’s the first one to tell you, ‘I own a gun and I respect your Second Amendment rights, but I don’t want guns to get into the hands of the wrong people, and that’s how I would run the ATF.’  I think that reflects what the majority of Americans think… I’m going to vote for him.”

In his speech on the Senate floor, Durbin also explained how the gun lobby is working behind-the-scenes to thwart ATF from having Senate-confirmed leadership.

“In the history of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, there’s only been one person who has served [as a Senate-confirmed director]… I don’t think it’s an accident at all.  You see, the gun lobby… when they want to make their case against new gun laws, they say the same thing: enforce the laws on the books, you don’t need new laws… The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is one of the agencies that does that.  If you can weaken the agency—fewer agents, fewer employees, no director—then the actual enforcement done by this agency is diminished,” Durbin said.  “People behind the gun lobby, they don’t want an agency that enforces the laws.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Mr. Chipman’s nomination with a vote of 11-11, with every Committee Democrat voting “aye.”  Under the provisions of S. Res. 27, Leader Schumer may now file a discharge motion on Mr. Chipman’s nomination to place him on the executive calendar.

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