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Archive for August 5th, 2021

Biden’s ATF Nominee Is Three Votes Away from Getting Confirmed

Former ATF Agent David Chipman, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

The confirmation of David Chipman, President Biden’s pick to lead the ATF, appears to rest in the hands of two Democrats and an independent in the U.S. Senate. 

All 50 Republican oppose Chipman’s confirmation, so it will take the support of the remaining senators to approve his appointment. 

The holdouts are Democrats Sens. Joe Manchin, W.V., and Jon Tester, Montana, along with independent Sen. Angus King, of Maine, The USA Today reports.

“As a proud gun owner, Senator Tester believes ATF needs a strong leader to support the agency’s law enforcement mission,” a spokesperson for Tester said in a statement to The Hill. “Senator Tester will continue to review David Chipman’s record and testimony to ensure he would support our brave law enforcement officers and respect Montanans’ Second Amendment rights.”

King “continues to review the nomination,” a spokesperson said. 

Chipman’s confirmation is controversial among conservatives because he has advocated for firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons, such as AR-15s. The National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation have joined in the fight with more than $4 million in radio and TV ads in the home states of moderate Democrats and King. 

Chipman is a gun owner and former ATF agent

The ATF has been without a Senate-confirmed director since 2015. 

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged that Chipman’s nomination “wouldn’t be easy.” 

“We’ve been eyes wide open into the challenge from the beginning,” she said.

Psaki added, “We are disappointed by the fact that many Republicans are moving in lockstep to try to hold up his nomination and handcuff the chief federal law enforcement agency tasked with fighting gun crimes.”

Chipman’s nomination advanced from the Senate Judiciary Committee after a 10-10 vote last month. But since then, Democrats have not scheduled a confirmation vote because they’re not sure if he has enough support. 

CBP to Begin Outfitting Border Patrol Agents with Body Cameras

Photo: Shutterstock

About a third of Border Patrol agents will wear body cameras by the end of the year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday

The agency already began outfitting agents with body cameras, which are roughly the size of a deck of playing cards.

“Our agents and officers serve the public and protect our borders every day with great skill and professionalism,” Troy Miller, CBP Acting Commissioner, said. “Providing them with state-of-the-art technology and tools like body-worn cameras will support their work and provide greater transparency into interactions between CBP officers and agents and the public.”

About 6,000 of the agency’s 20,000 agents will have body cameras by the end of 2021. Agents along the southwest and northern borders will be the first to receive cameras. 

After this year, the plan is to add body cameras to more agents. 

The idea is to “strengthen CBP’s ability to document and review enforcement encounters and use of force incidents, and to investigate allegations of misconduct on the part of our personnel,” the agency said in a news release.

The announcement comes a month after the Justice department said that federal agents serving arrest warrants or executing raids will soon be required to wear body cameras. The new policy applies to the FBI, ATF and U.S. Marshals.