The good guys appear to have won the day in the fight over Trump’s nomination of Chuck Canterbury to head the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives and really big fires. While Canterbury’s nomination may have looked good on the surface to some, plenty more gun rights activists convinced key Republican senators to block the nomination.
In her post here, Rachel Malone, the Texas Director of Gun Owners of America, revealed Canterbury’s true history of advocating for gun control, time and time again. A past which gun owners should find very troubling.
Canterbury Pushes for Gun Control
Chuck Canterbury is President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), an organization which touts itself as “The Voice Of Our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers.” As President of the FOP, he has asked Congress to “address gun violence” by passing three gun control measures that should make your blood boil.
First, he wants universal background checks. He claims that loopholes in the background check system are responsible for criminals obtaining guns. This is ridiculous.
Background checks are a blatant violation of “innocent until proven guilty.” Currently, 95% of initial NICS blocks are “false positives,” meaning that background checks are much more likely to keep law-abiding citizens from purchasing guns to protect themselves lawfully. Also, background checks certainly do not stop prohibited people from illegally getting their hands on guns.
Second, he wants to “invigorate the ATF” and give it the “manpower and resources” to enforce laws. Just so we’re clear, the ATF is the agency responsible for enforcing federal gun control acts.
So that’s exactly what we need to keep us safe — more federal agents to investigate and arrest people who haven’t paid their federal tax on those dangerous hearing protection devices (silencers) and those terrible guns that are safer for smaller people to handle (short-barreled rifles and shotguns).
And third, he wants law enforcement to have “better access to mental health records for keeping guns out of the wrong hands.” Considering the massive push for gun confiscations for those who are supposedly “mentally ill” without going through due process — this is pretty much the last thing I want.
This line-up should give you an idea of Canterbury’s game plan for running the ATF. And I say hell no.
Canterbury Opposes Gun Rights
As if pushing for gun control isn’t enough, Canterbury has also used his official position as President of FOP to oppose constitutional carry and other gun rights legislation. Seventeen states now recognize constitutional carry — the right to carry a gun without needing a government permit.
Ohio is working on it, but Canterbury has made it clear that he opposes the measure.
Canterbury Supports Anti-Gunners for Leadership
He testified in favor of Sonia Sotomayor for U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
His rhetoric was stellar. “I take a back seat to no one in my reverence for the Second Amendment,” Canterbury proclaimed. “In fact, if I thought that Judge Sotomayor’s presence on the court posed a threat to my Second Amendment right, I would not be supporting her here today.”
But only five years previously, Sotomayor had agreed that “the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right” (Sanchez-Villar v. United States, 2004).
Gun Owners of America opposed Sotomayor’s nomination, and with good reason.
The year after her SCOTUS confirmation, she voted wrong in McDonald v. Chicago (2010). She agreed that the individual right to keep and bear arms is not fundamental in the American scheme of justice, that gun regulations could help save lives, and that the States don’t have to uphold our right to keep and bear arms.
If Canterbury didn’t think Sotomayor posed a threat, he’s talking about a very different Second Amendment than the one I champion.
In the end, Canterbury’s record trumped any words of praise he got from a handful in the gun community.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
Chuck Canterbury, President Trump’s nominee to serve as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, is likely to see his nomination withdrawn due to stringent opposition from Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Washington Free Beacon learned on Thursday.
“Chuck Canterbury does NOT have sufficient support in the Judiciary Committee and is now expected to be held up instead of getting a vote today,” a GOP Senate aide told the Free Beacon on Thursday morning. “Republican members are (1) Concerned about his stances on gun control, and (2) there is still some bad blood for him flipping the Fraternal Order of Police in support of the First Step Act (after opposing the more moderate version), allegedly in exchange for the ATF Director nomination.”
“His 2A views are bad and he’d lose a lot of votes in committee,” a second Senate source told the Free Beacon. “We expect the White House will pull him given lack of support from Republicans on the Judiciary Committee.”
At least one Republican senator, Utah’s Mike Lee, seemed to agree with this assessment when reached for comment.
“Sen. Lee has concerns about Canterbury’s Second Amendment views and is pleased the markup has been delayed,” Lee’s office told the Free Beacon.
Dear President Trump,
Why don’t you consult Don Jr. or maybe even your own Second Amendment Coalition about a potential BATFE nominee, rather than consulting the swamp?
America’s Gun Owners