Watch: Biden's ATF Nominee Stumbles and Bumbles When Asked to Define an 'Assault Weapon'

David Chipman, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, wants to ban so-called “assault weapons.”

There’s just one problem: He doesn’t know what an “assault weapon” is.

In a viral video shared by Young Americans for Liberty, Chipman is seen stuttering for nearly a minute, wholly unable to answer the question: “What’s an assault weapon?”

“There’s no way I could define an assault weapon,” Chipman responded.

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Chipman, who would be tasked with enforcing Biden’s proposed ban on so-called “assault weapons,” can’t define what “assault weapons” are.

Veteran and Republican congressional candidate Buzz Patterson took issue with the absurdity of the spectacle.

It is not a great start for the prospective ATF head, to be sure. Admittedly, however, stuttering like a court jester was likely a preferable option to asserting the truth of the matter: There is no agreed-upon definition of an “assault weapon.”

Indeed, the “assault weapon” boogeyman is explicitly used by leftists in a deliberately vague manner so that they might continue to demonize gun owners and allow for an ever-expanding incursion into Americans’ constitutional right to carry arms.

Put simply, by keeping the idea of “assault weapons” alive without ever codifying what the term means, the left can come for more and more guns until there are none left.

If that sounds like hyperbole, buckle up, because Chipman has a long history of anti-constitutional radicalism, and it doesn’t stop with the definition of “assault weapons.”

Chipman has reportedly long defended the federal government’s killing of 82 Americans in Waco, Texas, in 1993, by asserting the demonstrably false allegation that those killed had shot down FBI helicopters, according to MSN.

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Were the reported justification of federal agents killing people not chilling enough, Chipman has also asserted that he believes the government should be allowed to arrest people before they commit crimes to stop gun violence.

“While at ATF I conducted studies involving people who failed background checks to determine how many later committed crimes with a gun — many did,” Chipman wrote, according to Firearms Policy Coalition. “This is a perfect opportunity to arrest people before committing crimes rather than responding after the fact.”

You read that right, the man who doesn’t know how to define an “assault weapon” wants to be able to arrest you for failing a background check to buy a so-called “assault weapon.”

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If it’s any consolation, Chipman doesn’t think that the president of the United States should have the security of the Second Amendment either, and previously argued that the Secret Service should not carry firearms, according to a transcript leaked by Republican Rep. Josh Hawley of Missouri.

Chipman is clearly unqualified to assume leadership of the ATF and, indeed, his anti-constitutionalism renders him effectively ill-suited to work in any position of any branch of government.

The fact that Biden nominated a man who seeks to drastically expand unconstitutional power grabs by the federal government by using intentionally veiled language speaks volumes about this administration’s priorities and the character of those filling its highest positions.

The bottom line is that Chipman is unfit for the office he is nominated to. Then again, when did that ever stop this administration?

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Andrew Thornebrooke is a writer specializing in foreign policy and national security. He is the executive editor of The Rearguard and a MA candidate in military history at Norwich University.
Andrew Thornebrooke is an American writer working at the crossroads of communications and policy advocacy. He is an expert in intranational conflict and national security.

He is the founder of The Rearguard, a weekly column dedicated to exploring issues of culture, defense, and security within the context of a receding Western Civilization.

Andrew is a MA candidate in military history at Norwich University where his research focuses on non-state military actors, partisanship, and the philosophy of war. A McNair Scholar and public speaker, he has presented research at several institutions including Cornell, Fordham, and the CUNY Graduate Center.

His bylines appear in numerous outlets including The Free-Lance Star, Independent Journal Review, InsideSources, The Lowell Sun, and The Western Journal.
Topics of Expertise
Defense; Military Affairs; National Security