Sen. Ted Cruz questioned President Biden's nominee to head the Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms in the Senate on Wednesday, asking him about America's most popular rifle, the AR-15.
"Mr. Chipman, a minute ago, Sen. Whitehouse asked you if your any of views on guns are out of step with the majority of the American people. The AR-15 is one of, if not the most popular rifle in America. It's not a machine gun, it's a rifle. Your public position is that you want to ban AR-15s, is that correct?" Cruz asked.
Chipman, who worked for the ATF for 25 years, thanked Cruz for the question, before answering "with respect to the AR-15, I support a ban as has been presented in a senate bill, and supported by the president. The AR-15 is a gun I was issued on ATF's SWAT team and it's a particularly lethal weapon, and regulating it as other particularly lethal weapons, I have advocated for.
"As ATF director, if I am confirmed, I would simply enforce the laws on the books. Right now there is no such ban on those guns."
Cruz's question spoke to Chipman's understanding of the weapon in question, which was found to be lacking.
President Biden has made gun control legislation a center piece of his initiatives, calling for so-called "red flag" laws that allow citizens to inform police of their view that another citizen should not be in possession of or have access to firearms.
The nomination of David Chipman to head ATF was part of his detailed plan to address gun violence in the US.