The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), The Firearm Industry Trade Association, is running a cable TV ad campaign against the nomination of David Chipman (pictured), who has been in the hot seat throughout his Senate confirmation process. It has not helped his case that the White House has not said it is confident he will make it through the process.
"This is actually the first time that The Firearm Industry has invested in commercial advertising to reach out to the voters directly, and that kind of stresses that level of importance that the industry places on this pending vote for David Chipman to run the ATF," says Mark Oliva of the NSSF. "From our perspective, David Chipman poses a very real threat to the industry. He embraces the idea of banning the AR-15, and he advocated during the COVID pandemic to shut down retailers and shut down manufacturers so people would not be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights."
For President Biden to put Chipman in charge of the agency that has oversight and regulation authority over the firearm industry would, in Oliva's words, be like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.
The ad campaign is airing now on cable in states such as West Virginia and Maine.
"This vote will come down to a key few senators, particularly Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Senator Angus King (I-Maine)," says Oliva. "Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have said they will vote no."
"ATF is the key agency enforcing our gun laws, and it needs a confirmed director in order to do the job to the best of its ability," President Biden said in April upon nominating Chipman for the position. "But ATF has not had a confirmed director since 2015. Chipman served at ATF for 25 years and now works to advance commonsense gun safety laws."