ATF nominee tells lawmakers he supports AR-15 ban

David Chipman, President BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE’s nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), said at his confirming hearing Wednesday he supports banning the AR-15.

A Senate panel vetted Chipman, along with other nominees for Justice Department posts, and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNew Jersey governor tweaks Cruz on Cancun over moving truck quip Hirono tells Ted Cruz to stop 'mansplaining' Senate Republicans: Newly proposed ATF rules could pave way for national gun registry MORE (R-Texas) questioned his position on the AR-15. 

“I support a ban as has been presented in a Senate bill and supported by the president. 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,” Chipman said. 


“As ATF director, if I’m confirmed, I would simply enforce the laws in the books and right now, there is no such ban on those guns,” he added.

Cruz said that the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America and that “it’s not a machine gun.”

Chipman is the policy adviser for gun violence prevention group Giffords and previously worked at ATF from 1988 to 2012. 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick DurbinDick Durbin'Killibuster': Democratic angst grows as filibuster threatens agenda Biden administration to back bill ending crack, powder cocaine sentence disparity: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats await Manchin decision on voting rights bill MORE (D-Ill.) commented to start the hearing that Chipman would be only the second confirmed ATF director in the agency’s history and the first director to ever have served as an ATF special agent. 

The top Republican on the panel, Sen. Charles GrassleyChuck GrassleyBiden's program for migrant children doesn't go far enough The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden support, gas tax questions remain on infrastructure 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll MORE (Iowa), argued that Chipman has misled the public on modern sports riffles, and condemned the “contempt to which he seems to view ordinary Americans who buy and carry firearms.” 


Chipman was also questioned by Republicans on his support for Congress to ban assault weapons and for universal background checks during the hearing, two actions Biden also supports.

He was asked by Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyFlorida hackers change highway sign to read 'Arrest Fauci' Majority of Republicans thinks critical race theory negatively affects society: poll Harris casts tiebreaking vote to confirm OPM nominee MORE (R-Mo.) about if he thinks that District of Columbia v. Heller was rightly decided, which was the 2008 Supreme Court landmark ruling that the Second Amendment protects the right to possess firearms. 

“Senator, I’m a cop, not a lawyer,” Chipman said.