There are lies, damned lies and gun control lies. The problem with the gun control lies is that those who continue to spout them have no shame even when they’ve been proven wrong.
The latest is Fred Guttenberg. Guttenberg is the father of 14-year-old Jaime who was among those killed in the tragedy at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. He’s become an outspoken gun control activist since his daughter’s murder, working alongside the gun control groups Everytown for Gun Safety, Brady and Giffords.
He weighed in the floundering nomination of President Joe Biden’s nominee, David Chipman, for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This, of course, is well within his rights. Taking liberties with the truth, however, is out of bounds.
This is a disgusting lie from the “The Reload” an extremist rag designed to pedal gun lobby lies.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) July 30, 2021
“This industry doesn’t really care who the name is of the ATF director,” Guttenberg told Politico in an interview. “They want to veto the idea of a permanent ATF director and they’re doing everything they can to do that. If it wasn’t David Chipman, they’d be doing the same thing to whoever else it was.”
That’s just not true.
A Senate-confirmed ATF director is in the firearm industry’s interest and NSSF has openly supported several nominees in the past, including Chuck Canterbury, B. Todd Jones, who was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed, and Michael Sullivan, who was nominated by President George W. Bush.
The firearm industry wants a permanent director. The industry needs it, so does ATF. There are too many functions, from law enforcement to inspections to drafting regulations that hinge upon experienced, steady, nonpartisan and mission-focused leadership. The problem is that Chipman is none of that.
That’s what Guttenberg, the gun control lobby and gun control senators can’t accept. NSSF has detailed the reasons before, but for clarity’s sake, here are the reasons Chipman’s unqualified for the job.
Chipman is a gun control idealogue. He’s a paid lobbyist for a gun control group who embraces radical ideas including banning modern sporting rifles (MSRs), standard capacity magazines and if that can’t be achieved, twisting the National Firearms Act to force registration and levy taxes on those who own the 20 million-plus that are in circulation today.
Chipman lied about the events in Waco, Texas. He claimed that .50-caliber rifles were used to down helicopters. Like Guttenberg, he’s got a problem with the truth. It never happened and he was forced to recant the claim.
He’s denigrating of Americans who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights. He compared first-time gun buyers in 2020 to “Tiger King” and zombie-apocalypse preppers. He told them to, “Secure that gun, locked and unloaded and hide it behind the cans of tuna and beef jerky that you have stored in a cabinet and only bring that out if the zombies start to appear.”
That’s hardly respecting the rights of the citizens he would swear an oath to protect if he was again given a badge.
The truth is that the firearm industry wants a Senate-confirmed ATF director. What the firearm industry doesn’t want is a gun control mouthpiece who would run roughshod over the Second Amendment and use the bureau to run the industry out of business. That’s what President Biden vowed. He called the firearm industry “the enemy.”
It’s not just NSSF saying Chipman is the wrong guy for the job. It’s also Michael Sullivan, former Acting Director of the ATF. He said Chipman would be too focused on the politics of gun control and not the ATF’s mission of regulating firearms and enforcing laws.
It’s also what several former ATF agents want, all with over 25 years of service, who wrote to the Senate to warn them Chipman doesn’t have the required executive experience and his personal anti-gun agenda would interfere with his duties.
It’s also the ATF agents who allege Chipman made racist remarks while he was stationed at the Detroit field office. Chipman and even Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are glossing over complaints in his personnel file. Yet, neither Chipman, nor The White House, will produce the records to put the matter to rest.
The ATF deserves a confirmed director. The firearm industry wants that. Chipman, and gun control’s constant lies to drive their agenda, are what’s unacceptable.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.