Press Release

Former ATF Special Agent David Chipman Responds To President Trump’s Empty Promises About Protecting Law Enforcement

May 15, 2017 – Following remarks from President Trump and Vice President Pence at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial today, David Chipman, Senior Policy Advisor at Americans for Responsible Solutions and a retired 25-year ATF special agent, released the following statement regarding the President’s empty promises about protecting law enforcement.

STATEMENT FROM DAVID CHIPMAN, SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR AT AMERICANS FOR RESPONSIBLE SOLUTIONS AND A FORMER ATF SPECIAL AGENT:

“We can keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and better protect law enforcement from the threats of gun violence. But to do that, we need a president who is serious about finding solutions that put the interests of law enforcement first, not the Washington gun lobby. Instead of closing the gaping loopholes in our nation’s gun laws that threaten law enforcement, the Trump Administration continues to follow the lead of the Washington gun lobby, who want to make it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs by deregulating silencers, mandating national concealed carry and eliminating gun-free school zones.

“The president is right to acknowledge the many sacrifices that our brave men and women in law enforcement make for our country. But these heroes deserve more than lip service and empty promises, they deserve a president who will listen to law enforcement, protect our communities and reject the gun lobby’s extreme agenda.”

Even though many law enforcement organizations and the majority of gun owners are opposed to the gun lobby’s extreme policy priorities, President Trump supports them:

  • Federally mandated concealed carry, the gun lobby’s top legislative priority, would mandate that each state to recognize concealed carry permits from every other state, forcing states with strong gun laws to comply with extremely lax state laws. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump went on the record in support of this proposal, and immediately after the November election, the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre called on Trump and Congress to pass this legislation “as quickly as it can be written and signed.” What Trump is choosing to ignore is the fact that this law will undermine the work of law enforcement who would have trouble verifying that those who are carrying a concealed weapon are legally allowed to. Federally mandated concealed carry is strongly opposed by all major law enforcement organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Major Cities Chiefs Association because it would make communities less safe.
  • Deregulating gun silencers and making them easier to obtain would increase the threat posed to law enforcement when responding to an active shooter event. Gun silencers are designed to mask the sound of gunfire and muzzle flashes. If criminals could get their hands on these weapons, it would be easier for them to elude law enforcement and would raise the risk of ambush attacks targeting cops, a threat that is already increasing. Last year, attacks on law enforcement officials resulted in the highest number of ambush deaths in more than 20 years.

It’s clear that while Trump says he’s going to empower law enforcement to protect us from crime and violence, he’s doing the exact opposite by supporting policies that make it much more difficult for law enforcement to do their jobs—risking the lives of law enforcement officials and the Americans they are trying to protect.

Trump’s Empty Promises to Law Enforcement:

“We must protect those who protect us. The number of officers shot and killed in the line of duty last year increased by 56 percent from the year before. Last year, in Dallas, police officers were targeted for execution –- think of this. Who ever heard of this? They were targeted for execution.”

“We have made clear that our administration will always stand with the incredible men and women of law enforcement.”

“We will work with our police not against our police, our police do a great job and they’ve never been troubled like they’re troubled now. It’s very unfair what’s happening. So we want to cherish our law enforcement. We will always protect those who protect us.”

“An attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans. I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police: when I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order our country…We will make America safe again.”

“We’re going to make our country safe again…and we’re going to respect our police, because you have to respect our police. We’re not going to shoot our police. We’re not shooting our police. It’s never been so dangerous to be a policeman or woman. It’s never been so dangerous.”

Experts Available to Comment: The following gun safety experts from Americans for Responsible are available for comment:

  • Peter Ambler, Executive Director of Americans for Responsible Solutions
  • David Chipman, 25 year ATF Veteran, Senior Advisor at Americans for Responsible Solutions
  • Members of the Law Enforcement Coalition for Common Sense

For more information, or to arrange an interview, email [email protected]