President Joe Biden is back to square one with his nomination for the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The president had to pull nominee David Chipman from the running for this position because he could not get enough support among Democrats to confirm him to the position.
Chipman in known to hold a number of fringe views that have many people concerned. He apparently suggested that he does not believe the Secret Service needed to use guns. He supported banning semi-automatic rifles and he told first-time gun owners only to use their firearms “if the zombies start to appear.”
In contrast, he stated that he was open to the idea of allowing some convicted felons have their gun rights restored. But then he made strange claims about the Waco siege to push for more gun control.
Biden’s nominee was also accused of being racist towards black ATF agents. He allegedly said that they could not have passed an exam to become an Assistant Special Agent in Charge without cheating. Chipman apparently hid a number of his statements from lawmakers.
The White House administration indicated last week that they would pull Chipman’s nomination after he failed to get enough support from Democrats to lead the ATF.
Back in the month of May, a number House lawmakers wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell opposing Chipman’s nomination. In the letter they said that Chipman’s “beliefs and hostile attitude toward the rights of gun owners are well known.”
“Throughout his career, David Chipman has made it no secret that he is an enemy of the 2nd Amendment,” the letter said. “In October 2018, Chipman argued in favor of subjecting all AR-15s and potentially all semi-automatic rifles to regulation under the National Firearms Act. As a former agent of the ATF, Chipman knows all too well that such action would effectively ban the most popular rifle in America as well as most other items regulated under the National Firearms Act.”
The concerned lawmakers continued in their letter saying, “Legal firearm ownership and integrity go hand-in-hand, and President Biden should not nominate anyone to lead the ATF who has repeatedly lied to further their own gun control agenda,” the letter continued. “As recently as 2019, Chipman was trying to mislead the public on the basic facts of firearm ownership. When discussing firearm suppressors, he claimed, ‘The gun does not sound gun-like. It takes the edge out of the tone … this is how I would describe it: It makes a gun sort of sound like a nail gun.’ This is widely known to be false.”
The lawmakers went on to refer to an online forum open for discussion where Chipman published historical falsehoods to empower his advocacy for gun control. They also referenced these comments from Chipman about the Waco incident with the ATF, “For instance, he stated, ‘At Waco, cult members used two .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters. Point, it is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often. The victims of drug lords in Mexico are not so lucky. America plays a role in fueling the violence south of the border.’ Needless to say, no helicopters were shot down at Waco. On the other hand, the Waco operation in which Chipman had a role resulted in the deaths of at least 76 people, including 25 children.”
The concerned lawmakers ended their letter by saying the Chipman jeopardized American’s constitutional rights and could possibly “reshape the landscape” of firearm ownership for generations, adding that he would “use every tool at his disposal to attack American gun owners.”