FOP Actions of Trump's ATF Pick Belie 'Reverence for 2nd Amendment' Claim

FOP Actions of Trump's ATF Pick Belie 'Reverence for 2nd Amendment' Claim

“Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key position in his Administration,” the White House announced May 24, “Kenneth Charles Canterbury, Jr., of South Carolina, to be the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.”

He’s not up for “acting director,” like the outgoing Thomas Brandon, but a fully empowered “real” director. If confirmed he’ll be only the second one since 2006, with Fast and Furious “gunwalking” cover-up appointee B. Todd Jones taking over from the hopelessly Peter Principled Kenneth E. Melson, and not quite lasting out the Obama administration until the NFL offered greener pastures.

Naturally, the question is what kind of ATF director will Canterbury be, and what can gun owners expect? It’s not like the history between the two groups, especially with the recent “bump stock” rule reversal, has led to anything but further distrust. Face it, the interests of those who believe in “shall not be infringed” and those tasked with the infringements can never mesh, so the best we can hope for is someone who is not a doctrinaire gun-grabber.

Is Canterbury?


"You`ve also spent a lot of time reminding members of Congress that FOP members are gun owners who support the Second Amendment,” NRA-ILA’s Chris Cox prompted, rather than asked about in a softball interview where he lobbed easy questions designed to show members Canterbury was a trusted pal. “In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, you said `I take a back seat to no one in my reverence for the Second Amendment.’”


True, FOP interests coincided with the industry on the Tiahrt amendment, which prohibits the release of firearms tracing data outside of law enforcement, because to do so could blow investigations and put officers and witnesses at risk. As for objecting to microstamping, that was because it was perceived as having “extremely limited utility,” not because FOP wouldn’t welcome technology that works. As for supporting the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, again, the motivation was self-interest to protect “the integrity of investigations, and the safety of law enforcement officers,” not any special “reverence” for the right of the people to keep and bear arms.


As far as that goes, FOP was all for the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act and nationwide concealed carry for current and retired cops. They also complained to the NFL for not letting off-duty officers carry at games. But on their “Legislation Opposed for the 115th Congress,” declaration, they include “the ‘Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,’ which would allow any civilian concealed carry permit holder to travel to any other State issuing concealed carry permits without any training or safety requirements.” Like the hapless DEA agent who shot himself in the leg in front of a class full of terrified schoolchildren, Canterbury considers his guys “the Only Ones professional enough” to bear arms.

That’s some “reverence.”

Also problematic is the testimony Canterbury gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2009 that Cox referred to when the FOP head was backing Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination. “In fact, if I thought that Judge Sotomayor’s presence on the court posed a threat to my Second Amendment right, I would not be supporting her here today,” he declared. The thing is, when he said that it was already well known that she was “one of only three federal appellate judges in America to issue a court opinion saying that the Second Amendment does not apply to states.”


Surprising no one, Sotomayor was a vote against individual rights in the Heller case and against incorporation in the McDonald case. That makes it fair to ask why “Reporter” Whitney Tipton wrote such a glowing tribute to Canterbury’s 2A bona fides in a May 27 puff piece for the ostensibly “conservative” The Daily Caller. It really is baffling.

Calling the Canterbury nomination correctly is the National Association for Gun Rights, which put out a May 24 alert warning “Anti-Gunner Nominated as Next ATF Director.”

“Unfortunately, Canterbury has a long history of publicly supporting and endorsing anti-gun policies, anti-gun Supreme Court nominees, and anti-gun high ranking government officials,” the release documents. “In his official capacity as President of the National Fraternal Order of Police, Canterbury has supported radical anti-gun Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, supported former Attorney General Eric Holder – Obama’s head honcho who ran the deadly Fast and Furious gun running program, [and] supported expanding the federal government’s gun registration schemes.”


The Holder connection is a good discovery on their part. The occasion was a confirmation hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Canterbury was as gushing about Holder as Cox was about him. “As the spokesperson of the largest law enforcement organization ... we are very pleased to be here to offer our strong support for this candidate to be the next Attorney General of the United States,” Canterbury testified. “His positions, his policy work, and the official acts were consistent with the goals of the FOP, and we have every reason to believe that he will be an exemplary U.S. Attorney General with whom we will have a very productive relationship.”

We probably won’t stop the Canterbury appointment from going forward, especially with all the praise for the guy coming from prominent, supposedly “pro-gun” quarters that excuse every Trump disappointment as “3D chess mastery.” But the proper reaction to all the unearned praise invites nothing so much as a memorable line from “The Outlaw Josey Wales” in rebuttal: “Don’t p*** down my back and tell me it’s rainin’.”

 

 David-Codrea

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. In addition to being a regular featured contributor for Firearms Newsand AmmoLand Shooting Sports News, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts onTwitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

Recommended for You

Industry

New from Hi-Point: The YEET Cannon

David Fortier - July 18, 2019

Hi-Point has YEETed its way to internet fame with the new YEET Cannon G1.

Rifles

Suppressor-Ready CZ 527 Review

David M. Fortier - July 22, 2019

CZ-USA's handy CZ 527 7.62x39mm bolt gun now accepts a sound suppressor.

2nd Amendment

Trump Administration Export Ban on Over 32 Round Magazines Raises Question of 'Why?'

David Codrea - June 14, 2019

It's a matter of not wanting “What do you need a magazine with that many rounds for?” to...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

The GPO Rangeguide 10x50

If you need to see your game, and know the distance in all hunting environments, the GPO RANGEGUIDE 10×50 is your winning ticket.

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

Jake Edson of Bushnell Optics tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about the brand new Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 rangefinders.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Air Guns

AirForce Airguns Condor Ring-Loc Kit Review

Tom Gaylord - May 29, 2019

Sponsored By
Airforce Airguns
2nd Amendment

Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners

Virginia Citizens Defense League - July 09, 2019

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to...

2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 1

Nedd Scott - July 18, 2019

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News.

See More Stories

More 2nd Amendment

2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 2

Nedd Scott - August 13, 2019

This is the second installment in a series of investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms...

2nd Amendment

Trudeau Gun Ban Targets 200,000 Long Guns: Global News

TheGunBlog.ca - June 20, 2019

At least some 90,000 so-called “Non-restricted” rifles and shotguns will be forced away from...

2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 1

Nedd Scott - July 18, 2019

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News.

See More 2nd Amendment

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×