David Chipman, a gun control advocate who is Democrat President Joe Biden’s nominee to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), told the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that if he is confirmed to the position, he will turn over records related to the purchase of a firearm by Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
The background check that Hunter Biden filled out in October 2018 to obtain a firearm is relevant because in order to obtain the firearm, Hunter Biden had to state that he was not addicted to any substances. However, in a recent book that he wrote, Hunter Biden admitted that at approximately the same time he obtained the firearm, he was addicted to drugs. Lying on an ATF Form 4473 is a felony that can carry a 10-year prison sentence with a $250,000 fine.
Chipman was questioned by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) about providing records related to the incident:
GRASSLEY: Mr. Chipman, on March 25th, this year, Senator Johnson and I wrote to ATF asking for records relating to the October 2018 Hunter Biden firearm incident. In response to my letter, ATF has refused to provide any records, citing the Freedom of Information Act, which is totally irrelevant to ATF’s responsibility to comply with legitimate congressional oversight requests. Congress isn’t subject to FOIA restrictions and ATF’s use of the law as a shield is incompetent. If confirmed, what steps will you take to produce records to this Committee relating to Hunter Biden’s October 2018 firearm incident?
CHIPMAN: Senator Grassley, thank you for asking me this question. If I am confirmed as ATF director, I will abide by all ATF policies and DOJ policies to ensure that you receive the records that you require.
Chipman was later pressed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) about whether Hunter Biden should be prosecuted and whether Chipman would pursue criminal charges against Hunter Biden:
COTTON: Mr. Chipman, you testified to Senator Lee that it’s a serious felony to lie on a background check application. I agree. The ATF form 4473 asks, ‘Are you unlawful user of or addicted to any drug or uncontrolled substance?’ If an applicant checks ‘yes,’ they cannot purchase a firearm. On March 25, Politico reported that Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son, applied for a handgun that was later thrown in the trash and had to be recovered by Secret Service agents in 2018. Politico reported that Hunter Biden completed this background check and answered ‘no’ to the question of whether he was an unlawful user of or addicted to any drug. Hunter Biden has since published a book and gone on a nationwide book tour, conducting numerous interviews stating that he was in fact very much addicted to drugs at the same time that he purchased this firearm. This would mean that by his own admission, Hunter Biden lied on that form, and by your earlier testimony, committed a serious felony. Should Hunter Biden be prosecuted for breaking this law?
CHIPMAN: Senator, thank you for your question. If I’m confirmed as ATF director, it will be my responsibility to enforce all federal laws without political favor. I do not know any factors in this particular case, but I am familiar with the press account of it.
COTTON: Well, my understanding is the statute of limitation is only five years and that this happened in 2018. Mr. Biden is obligated to keep a record of that form for up to five years himself. So, this should be a fairly easy case to investigate. Can I get your commitment that if you are confirmed, you will, in fact, look into this matter and refer it for prosecution if you find that Hunter Biden violated the law?
CHIPMAN: Senator, what I will assure you is that if ATF director, I will ensure that all violations of law are investigated and referred. I’m not sure that it has not been investigated.
COTTON: Well, I hope it has and if the facts are as clear cut as they appear to be based on Mr. Biden’s own admission, I would expect to see criminal charges forthcoming. But I would say that when a case is as high-profile as this, if there is not an answer for the American people [in] public, it severely undermines the confidence in our gun laws, as well as the ATF and the Department of Justice if there are not criminal consequences.
Sen. @TomCottonAR grills ATF nominee David Chipman about whether he would prosecute President Biden's son Hunter for lying on a federal firearm background check form:
"I will ensure that all violations of law are investigated and referred." pic.twitter.com/4rCWAOM6vj
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 26, 2021
The Daily Wire previously reported on the allegations facing Hunter Biden, which stem from an October 2018 incident between Hunter Biden and Hallie Biden, the wife of Hunter Biden’s deceased brother, Beau Biden. Hunter Biden dated his brother’s widow and later fathered a child with a stripper while he was living with Hallie Biden.
Hallie Biden allegedly took Hunter Biden’s gun and threw it in a trash can behind a grocery store, which prompted an investigation from law enforcement officials who were concerned because the trash can was close to a high school. Hallie Biden later returned to retrieve the firearm only to discover it was missing.
“Secret Service agents approached the owner of the store where Hunter bought the gun and asked to take the paperwork involving the sale, according to two people, one of whom has firsthand knowledge of the episode and the other was briefed by a Secret Service agent after the fact,” Politico reported. “The gun store owner refused to supply the paperwork, suspecting that the Secret Service officers wanted to hide Hunter’s ownership of the missing gun in case it were to be involved in a crime, the two people said. The owner, Ron Palmieri, later turned over the papers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which oversees federal gun laws.”
The report stated that Hunter answered “no” on the question on the form that asked, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”
In addition to the admission that he made in his book, Hunter Biden was previously discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine.