Last Updated on June 18, 2021
Arizona Republicans are calling on Senator Mark Kelly to recuse himself from any confirmation vote regarding Biden’s gun-grabbing ATF nominee, David Chipman.
The Arizona House proclamation, spearheaded by State Representative Quang Nguyen, calls upon recently-elected Senator Mark Kelly to recuse himself from the nomination vote of Chipman to ATF Director, due to the fact that Chipman is still employed as a Senior Policy Advisor at Giffords, the organization founded by Kelly and his wife, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, “to aggressively advocate for radical action, including a ban on commonly owned semi-automatic rifles and the imposition of ruinous legal liability on firearm-related companies.”
Nguyen argued in the proclamation that Chipman’s current employment at the organization “raises serious ethical questions regarding this vote and presents a clear and credible conflict of interest that puts the constitutional rights of Americans in jeopardy.” With the Senate currently split 50-50 Republican/Democrat, losing Kelly’s vote on the nomination, which is expected to take place in July, could be a serious issue for Democrats.
— AZ House Republicans (@AZHouseGOP) June 17, 2021
The proclamation, which is also supported by Arizona Representative Andy Biggs, argued that the House should resolve to oppose Chipman’s nomination regardless of his connections to Kelly, as he is “an ideologue for his radical cause and will not serve to uphold the Constitutional rights of Americans while in this office, but rather to erase rights to fit the radical gun control agenda of the groups he still works for and associates with to this day.”
Chipman “has had an extensive career of working with organisations whose mission is to erode the Second Amendment and criminalise law-abiding Americans,” it noted, including Giffords, but also another gun-grabbing organisation later absorbed into Everytown for Gun Safety, “whose aim is to put up every barrier possible to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional right to firearm ownership and use.”
In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread, Chipman previously defended the ATF’s massacre of women and children during the Branch Davidian standoff by falsely asserting that the Branch Davidians shot down an ATF helicopter. National File reported:
After repeatedly bringing up .50 caliber rifles, which are barely used to commit crimes in the United States, Chipman claimed that at the Waco massacre in 1993, where the actions of ATF agents led to the deaths of 82 men, women, and children, “cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters.”
However, this simply wasn’t true. As the Daily Caller noted, “while the Branch Davidians did reportedly shoot at and damage a trio of helicopters that were flown over their compound, none were shot down, and no federal agents were injured.” A House report from 1996 reads that the helicopters “sustained damage from weapons fire, [but] none of the National Guard crews or ATF aboard were injured.”
In the thread, Chipman called for many restrictions on firearms, including arguing that “all gun sales should be limited to licensed gun stores where a background check and paperwork is required,” and that there should be a ban on production on sales of all assault rifles. This is despite the fact that he admitted carrying a concealed firearm sometimes in public.
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