Joe Biden twice butchered the name of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) while announcing his anti-gun pick to lead the law enforcement agency. Biden was able to remember the name of his nominee, former federal agent and gun control activist David Chipman, however.
“I’m proud to nominate David Chipman for the director of the A.F.T [sic],” Biden said during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden. “David knows the A.F.T. [sic] well.”
CLASSIC BIDEN: Biden calls the Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms the "AFT"…. TWICE! pic.twitter.com/ihNub9HuTS
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 8, 2021
Citing the recent spate of mass shootings across the country, Biden also vowed to take a series of executive actions purportedly aimed at reducing gun violence. “This is an epidemic, for God’s sake, and it has to stop,” Biden said.
“Nothing I’m about to recommend in any way impinges on the second amendment… No amendment to the Constitution is absolute,” he added, before he laid out his executive actions designed to bypass congress and our constitutional protection. “You can’t yell ‘fire in a crowded movie theater’ and call it freedom of speech. From the beginning, you couldn’t own any weapon you wanted to own.”
His executive actions include directing the Department of Justice to address proliferation of “ghost guns” and to publish a model of “red flag” legislation for states to follow.
The term “ghost gun,” conservative commentator Dana Loesch explains, refers to a “perfectly legal hobbyist-made firearms for personal use but because Democrats haven’t bothered to look up the law mandating that homemade firearms are legal but must be serialized before sale, they believe that the guns are untraceable and not subjected to federal regulation, thus, “ghosts.”
As Loesch points out, criminals don’t take the time and expense to craft their own weapons at home. They generally obtain their guns illegally through straw purchases.
Red flag laws allow police or family members to petition a court to bar an individual from accessing firearms if they have “red flags” in their behavior.
Gun control critics like Loesch worry that Red Flag laws could take away a person’s constitutional right to own a firearm based on nebulous information.
Here’s a White House “fact sheet” on Biden’s executive actions:
• Direct the Justice Department to propose a rule within 30 days to help stop the proliferation of ghost guns – firearms assembled from kits that often lack serial numbers and are difficult to trace.
• Direct the DOJ to craft a rule within 60 days that clarifies the point at which a stabilizing arm brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle, subjecting that firearm to additional regulations.
• Direct the DOJ to publish, within 60 days, model red-flag legislation, which lets law enforcement officers or family members ask a court to temporarily bar someone from accessing guns under certain circumstances. The White House says the model legislation will make it easier for states to pass their own versions of that law.
• Direct the DOJ to issue a comprehensive report on gun trafficking.
During his remarks Thursday, Biden emphasized that these actions were merely initial steps, and urged the Senate to pass gun-reform proposals that have already been approved by the Democrat-led House.
“There’s much more that Congress can do to help that effort, and they can do it right now,” Biden said.
He went on to falsely claim that people who buy firearms at gun shows don’t have to undergo a background check.
BIDEN: "You go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want–no background check." pic.twitter.com/TbvfDPEwlp
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 8, 2021
Biden also called for a ban what he called “assault weapons and high capacity magazines”
“For that ten years we had it done, the number of mass shootings actually went down,” he claimed.
Biden was referring to the 1994 “assault weapons ban,” law which “prohibited the manufacture and sale of semiautomatic guns with military-style features such pistol grips or bayonet mounts as well as magazines holding more than ten rounds of ammunition.”
While Biden claims the ban lowered gun crimes, public policy experts say otherwise.
“There is no compelling evidence that it saved lives,” Duke University’s Philip Cook and Kristin Goss wrote in their 2014 book “The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know.”
Cook and Goss found no evidence that the law had reduced overall gun crime or made shootings less lethal. “We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence,” the Department of Justice-funded study concluded in 2004. “Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”
Chipman, Biden’s pick to lead the ATF, has advocated for an assault weapons ban as the senior policy adviser to the prominent gun control group Giffords, founded by former Democratic Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords after she survived a mass shooting in 2011. Chipman was a special agent in charge of the ATF’s firearms division for 25 years, the Daily Caller reported.
Chipman has advocated for an assault weapons ban and other restrictions in the past, according to The New York Times. The Giffords group is similarly opposed to assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, along with open and conceal carry licenses, which the organization regards as “dangers to public safety.”
During an interview with Cheddar news in April 2020, Chipman lamented the reported increase in gun sales during the coronavirus pandemic and claimed first time gun-owners were “putting themselves and their families in danger” because they purportedly did not know how to store firearms.
Chipman described himself as a “proud gun owner” who has sometimes been “mischaracterized as a gun grabber” in a Roanoke Times op-ed published in January 2020. But his prior remarks, along with his advisory position at the Giffords group, suggests he might back sweeping gun control efforts if confirmed.
Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a staunch gun control advocate in the Senate, said Chipman “is exactly what the ATF needs” in a statement Wednesday. He also praised Chipman for serving “on the front-lines in the fight against gun violence.”
Chipman is also known for falsely accusing the Branch Davidians, while holed up in a compound in Waco, Texas in 1993, of downing a pair of government helicopters.
In one Reddit post, Chipman wrote: “At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters. Point, it is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often. The victims of drug lords in Mexico are not so lucky. America plays a role in fueling the violence south of the border.”
A House report on Waco viewed by the Daily Caller revealed that, although Branch Davidian members shot at three government helicopters and damaged them, “none were shot down, and no federal agents were injured.”
Four ATF agents and 82 Branch Davidians died during a 51-day standoff, which ended when the religious group’s compound was burned to the ground after an FBI team tried to rescue children inside the building.
Twenty-five children died in the compound.
During his remarks, Biden repeated a common left-wing taunt toward conservative lawmakers who pray for the victims of mass shootings.
“They’ve offered plenty of thoughts and prayers, members of Congress. But they’ve passed not a single new federal law to reduce gun violence,” he said. “Enough prayers; time for some action.”