The Corner

Politics & Policy

Senator Manchin Should Follow Senator Collins and Reject Biden’s ATF Pick

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) listens during a hearing on “Domestic Violent Extremism in America” before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill, May 12, 2021. (Alex Wong/Pool via Reuters)

Senator Collins will vote against Joe Biden’s nominee for ATF director. Per Fox News:

Sen. Susan Collins announced Monday that she will oppose the confirmation of David Chipman, President Biden’s nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), a blow to Chipman’s prospects for a potential bipartisan confirmation vote.

“After meeting with Mr. Chipman, listening to Mainers, and reviewing his record, I have decided to vote against Mr. Chipman’s nomination to serve as the ATF Director,” Collins, R-Maine, said in a statement. “In recent years, Mr. Chipman has been an outspoken critic of the firearms industry and has made statements that demean law-abiding gun owners.”

Collins added: “Although he has the right to express his views, I believe this history makes him an unusually divisive pick for this important position.  In particular, I am concerned that his confirmation would do significant damage to the collaborative working relationship that must exist between ATF, the firearms industry, sportsmen and women, and other law-abiding gun owners exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

Senator Manchin should follow suit, and kill the nomination dead.

As the recent debate over HR.8 showed, Manchin is in favor of an extremely limited “universal background check” bill — and nothing else besides. By contrast, David Chipman is an extremist who has never met a gun-control proposal he didn’t like. Chipman wants to ban the most commonly owned rifle in the country. He wants to impose draconian restrictions upon concealed carry (West Virginia is a permitless carry state). And he talks disparagingly about gun owners, whom he seems believes are uniformly stupid. If David Chipman is too radical for Susan Collins, then he is without doubt too radical for Joe Manchin — a man who, lest we forget, introduced himself to the broader political world by shooting a climate change bill with a rifle.

Fox News proposes that the focus will now “shift to moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who represents a deep-red state and has been willing to buck his party in recent months.” Manchin should do just that.

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