An ATF veteran special agent who serves as a senior policy advisor for an anti-gun group mocked people who had bought guns for the first time because of the coronavirus crisis, likening them to “Tiger King” and saying they should hide the guns and “only bring that out if the zombies start to appear, and I don’t think they are.”
The National Rifle Association reported on Tuesday, “The FBI performed a record-breaking 3.7 million firearm-related background checks last month. According to an April news release from Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF), March 2020 estimates of firearm sales show an increase of over 85% from March 2019 – single handgun sales jumped by 91%, and single long-gun sales increased by over 73%.”
David Chipman serves as senior policy advisor at the Giffords organization, which has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden. Giffords states:
We deserve a president who listens to the American people, not the NRA. We deserve a president who takes bold action to make us safer, not one who tweets thoughts and prayers then does nothing. We deserve a president who fights for stronger gun laws, not gun lobby profits. Joe Biden is that leader.
In an interview with Cheddar, Chipman was queried about the spike in gun sales as the host asked, “What are your biggest concerns about this increase?”
As an ATF special agent for 25 years, I had to train repeatedly to be proficient with the use of the gun. And most of the buyers who went out to their gun store and bought a gun have no training whatsoever. And so in their mind they might be competent; they might think they’re die-hard, ready to go, but unfortunately they’re more like Tiger King and they’re putting themselves and their family in danger. And so what I would suggest is for those people who are first-time gun owners, if they did go out and buy a gun, I would secure that gun locked and unloaded, and hide it behind the cans of tuna and beef jerky that you’ve stored in the cabinet and only bring that out if the zombies start to appear, and I don’t think they are.
And so I’m much more concerned about these guns being stored safely in the homes now and not unintendedly putting families at risk or the gun buyers themselves.
Asked if police were prepared for the spike in gun ownership, Chipman continued:
Yeah, they’re already seeing that. Let’s be clear: Imagine that in homes across the United states domestic violence is an issue; I would imagine that people under stress, losing their job, that there’s more drinking; you put a gun in the mix, the potential that we are seeing is more domestic violence incidents, and now that you put a gun in the middle of a domestic violence incident the lethality just soars.
And so police need to be focused on ensuring that our hospitals are safe, that people are being transferred or ported to hospitals that they’re keeping safe themselves. They don’t need to be responding to more armed domestic violence situations which are already the most deadly call for police that they can ever go on. And we saw just in Phoenix within the last couple of days a commander was shot and killed during a domestic violence incident.
So right now, I understand the fear; I understand the concern; I have it myself, but we don’t want to make rash decisions that place ourselves, our neighbors and our families more at risk than actually keeping them safe.