Donald Trump Jr. addresses his father’s supporters at a rally in Sarasota, Fla. On July 3. REUTERS / Octavio Jones
Trump Jr. aggressively lobbied Biden’s candidate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The White House has said it will withdraw David Chipman’s appointment after facing a bipartisan setback.
Trump Jr., who remains involved in right-wing politics, is a fierce critic of gun regulation.
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Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of former President Donald Trump, lobbied aggressively against David Chipman, President Joe Biden’s candidate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, whose appointment, the House Blanche announced she would step down on Thursday amid the decline in moderate senators.
Republicans sentenced Chipman, a longtime former ATF special agent who heads the ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Gun Safety Group, for supporting certain gun regulations, including background checks and cracking down on illegal gun trafficking.
In the equally divided Senate, Chipman’s confirmation would have relied on Red State Democrats, including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Montana’s Jon Tester, who face powerful pro-gun lobbies and pressure from the right. .
Trump Jr. has targeted these lawmakers, posting opinion pieces in Montana and West Virginia newspapers in which he called Chipman the “greatest threat” to Americans’ Second Amendment rights and said he “destroy” the amendment.
“We would take a guy whose current job is to advocate for guns to be taken away from law-abiding citizens, and actually empower him to do so,” Trump Jr. wrote.
Trump Jr., a businessman and political activist who opposes virtually all gun restrictions, has repeatedly claimed that Chipman will forcibly remove firearms from Americans who legally own them – an apparent reference to Biden’s support for so-called red flag laws, which would temporarily take guns away from people deemed dangerous by family members, law enforcement or medical professionals.
The story continues
“I want you to call all of your senators… and make sure this guy isn’t confirmed,” Trump Jr. said during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in July. “Ask them if they’re going to name someone who says they’re going to take your guns, your AR-15?” “
Tester, Manchin and other key centrist senators did not say how they would vote for Chipman or object to his nomination. Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who voted for several of Biden’s candidates, announced in June that she would not support Chipman, calling him “exceptionally confrontational” and “outspoken critic of the gun industry “who” has made statements that humiliate law-abiding gun owners.
Anti-gun groups have also paid money to oppose Chipman’s appointment. In his campaign against Chipman, the National Rifle Association lobby group called him a “gun control extremist” who “cannot be trusted.”
The ATF, which is responsible for enforcing the country’s federal gun laws, has had only one Senate-confirmed leader since 2006, in part due to intense lobbying by the NRA and other pro-gun groups. Even the Trump administration candidate has been overthrown by Republican activists and lawmakers.
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