President Trump pulled Chuck Canterbury from consideration as ATF Director nominee on Tuesday. The move comes among continued Republican criticism of Canterbury, the former head of the national Fraternal Order of Police.
Trump Pulls Nominee Chuck Canterbury
Multiple reports claimed Canterbury would not receive enough support from Republicans, meaning he would fail to earn a confirmation for the ATF’s top position. The Wall Street Journal reported:
He tangled in his confirmation hearing with Republican senators who were frustrated that he wouldn’t clearly define his views on gun-control measures such as expanding background checks for prospective buyers and a ban on assault rifles. He was head of the FOP when it took positions supporting more-rigorous gun-control measures including an expansion of background checks.
For gun owners, Canterbury proved to pose a threat to the Second Amendment. When pressed by Republican senators, Canterbury refused to reveal his personal position on guns and the Second Amendment. In that setting, from mostly pro-gun politicians, that’s a damning turn of events. As such, Republicans pulled support for an appointee that should have presented a slam dunk for confirmation.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham once called Canterbury’s nomination “very problematic,” reported washingtonexaminer.com. Meanwhile, Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana told Canterbury, “You have been nominated to run ATF,” reported washingtonexaminer.com. “I think every member of this panel, both my Democratic friends and Republican friends who have feelings about the Second Amendment, are entitled to know both morally and legally what you believe.”
So the president chose a candidate that doesn’t match up to Republican-held views on gun ownership. And the senators ultimately made Trump send him packing. Now the ATF remains rudderless in a true, confirmed leader, a position it knows all-too well. Since transitioning to a Senate-confirmed position in 2006, only once have Senators actually confirmed a leader.
If that doesn’t scream what’s at stake with the leader of the ATF, then I don’t know what does. Let’s hope Trump picks better the next go around.