President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives told legislators on Wednesday that he supports a ban on AR-15s.
“The AR-15 is one of if not the most popular rifle in America. It’s not a machine gun, it’s a rifle. Your public position is that you want to ban AR-15s, is that correct?” Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas asked during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
“With respect to the AR-15, I support a ban as has been presented in a Senate bill and supported by the president,” ATF nominee David Chipman said. “The AR-15 is a gun I was issued on ATF’s SWAT team, and it’s a particularly lethal weapon and regulating it as other particularly lethal weapons, I have advocated for.”
WATCH: Sen. Ted Cruz gets Joe Biden’s ATF Director nominee David Chipman to admit that he wants to BAN the AR-15, the most popular rifle in America.
“With respect to the AR-15, I support a ban.” pic.twitter.com/6nDgalAkRj
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) May 26, 2021
If he is confirmed, Chipman pledged to “simply enforce the laws on the books, and right now, there is no such ban on those guns.”
“So you want to ban the most popular rifle in America,” Cruz concluded, referring to the semi-automatic modern sporting rifle.
Chipman previously called for an “assault weapons” ban in a House Judiciary Committee hearing in 2019. Chipman also spent time working at Giffords, an anti-gun organization that often advocates for bans or regulation on “assault weapons” and large-capacity magazines. The group also claims that open- and conceal-carry licenses are “dangers to public safety.”
Previously in the hearing, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa likened confirming Chipman to “putting Antifa in charge of the Portland Police Department.”
“Day to day, ATF plays a significant role in the legal trade of firearms in this country,” the ranking member said during the Senate Judiciary hearing on Wednesday. “Many see putting a committed gun control proponent like Mr. Chipman in charge of ATF as like putting a tobacco executive in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, or Antifa in charge of the Portland Police Department.”