Moderate senators from either side of the aisle who will ultimately decide the fate of President Biden’s ATF nominee kept their cards close to the chest after Wednesday’ heated Judiciary Committee hearing.
Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.), Susan Collins (R., Maine), and Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) did not respond to requests for comment. Senators Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.), Jon Tester (D., Mont.), and Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) said they are still closely examining Chipman’s record.
“Senator Toomey has not yet made a decision regarding David Chipman’s nomination to lead the ATF,” Steve Kelly, Toomey’s spokesperson, told The Reload.
Chipman repeatedly apologized during the hearing for his comments mocking new gun owners, spreading a lie about helicopters being shot down during the ATF’s Waco siege in 1993, and saying silencer reform only benefited criminals and gun lobbyists. He also stood by his contention that sales of “assault weapons” should be banned and current owners should be forced to register them with the ATF during the hearing but refused to offer a definition for what “assault weapons” actually are. His refusal to define the term led to several heated exchanges with Republicans on the committee, but his support for banning and registering them also sets him far apart from moderate Senate Democrats. Read more…