Why Hunters Should Oppose Chipman (Even If You Don’t Like AR-15s)
Safari Club International needs you to help voice opposition to the Chipman nomination.
One of the deepest schisms in the gun-owning community is the one between those of us who think of our firearms as defensive tools and those of us who think of our firearms as a way to bring home wild game meat. The truth of the matter is, of course, that firearms are both of those things and more.
However, that division–false though it may be–often results in one group not caring about what happens to the other group. Please see the above for Ben Franklin’s thoughts on the matter … and here’s some background on why you should care a lot about the nomination of David Chipman for the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Yes, even if you only own a single-shot falling-block rifle and you only shoot it once a year.
Chipman, a longtime gun control lobbyist, has expressly stated his support for banning the most popular rifle in the U.S., owned by tens of millions of law-abiding Americans, the AR-15-style platform. He holds many other radical anti-Second Amendment positions, all of which would not only impact the civil rights of Americans but will also have very detrimental effects on hunting and wildlife conservation.
The nomination of Chipman will significantly harm wildlife conservation and management efforts across the country. Manufacturers pay a 10- to 11-percent tax on firearms and ammunition, which directly funds state wildlife and habitat conservation, law enforcement, hunter safety programs and other wildlife-related uses. This tax comes from all recreational firearm manufacturing, not just those firearms used for hunting.
SCI was among the 22 organizations that sent a June 11, 2021, letter to Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Republican Leader McConnell outlining strong opposition to Chipman. As the letter noted, in 2017 Chipman testified before the House Natural Resources Committee in opposition to HR 3668, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, a bill that received significant support from the hunting and conservation community. The SHARE Act expanded access and opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on federal lands, an issue of great importance to America’s sportsmen and women.
“Based on these positions,” the letter stated, “it is clear to us that the confirmation of David Chipman as ATF Director would result in significant and far-reaching negative impacts to hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and, importantly, to wildlife and its habitat.”
As you can see, anti-gun attitudes almost always dovetail with anti-hunting sentiment. It’s very common for politicians who oppose gun ownership in America to assure hunters that they’re not coming for our bolt-action Remingtons…and as long as you add the word “today” to that sentence, it’s true. But rest assured, once they start banning they will not stop. We must all hang together lest we hang separately. Please call your senator today and ask them to oppose the Chipman nomination.
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