The Biden administration reportedly plans to withdraw David Chipman as a nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after widespread criticism of his gun control views.
“President Biden nominated Chipman, who worked at ATF for more than two decades before joining the gun control group led by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), in April as part of a larger effort to curb gun violence,” The Washington Post reported.
“But his nomination faced unified opposition from Republican senators as well as concerns from a handful of Senate Democrats from states friendly to gun rights.”
“The White House declined to comment. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak freely about Chipman, who currently is a senior adviser to the Giffords gun control group,” the report added.
“White House officials are trying to find another role in the administration for Chipman, said the people familiar with the matter.”
Breitbart News reported on Wednesday the Senate lacked the number of votes needed to confirm Chipman.
“Sens. [Joe] Manchin and [Jon] Tester are holding their cards close to their vests, but on August 3, 2021, Politico observed that Sen. [Angus] King will not support Chipman’s nomination,” Breitbart reported.
“King is an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and his decision means the Democrats have a maximum of 49 votes for Chipman, which is not enough to confirm him without Republican help,” the outlet added.
In June, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins announced she would not vote to confirm Chipman.
“After meeting with Mr. Chipman, listening to Mainers, and reviewing his record, I have decided to vote against Mr. Chipman’s nomination to serve as the ATF Director,” Collins said in a statement, according to Fox News.
“In recent years, Mr. Chipman has been an outspoken critic of the firearms industry and has made statements that demean law-abiding gun owners.”
In April, The Daily Caller reported Chipman promulgated a false narrative about the Waco siege during an exchange on the website Reddit last year.
During an “Ask Me Anything” event, a Reddit user reportedly asked Chipman “whether any crimes have been committed with .50 caliber Barrett rifles.” He responded by falsely accusing members of the Branch Davidian of shooting down two helicopters in the Waco, Texas, standoff in 1993.
“At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters,” he wrote.
“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.”
A House report from August 1996 tells a different story. It says while three helicopters were damaged from weapons fired from the ground, none were “shot down” and no federal agents were injured.
Chipman also expressed support for the National Firearms Act in 2018, which sought to subject every AR-15 in the United States to increased regulation.
During a confirmation hearing in May, Chipman responded to a question from GOP Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and noted he supports a ban on AR-15s, the most popular style of rifle in the country.
Republicans have long been opposed to Chipman’s nomination. Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana and 68 of his fellow Republicans in the House sent a letter in May expressing their opposition to the idea.
“Throughout his career, David Chipman has made it no secret that he is an enemy of the 2nd Amendment,” the letter stated. It was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“If confirmed, David Chipman would use every tool at his disposal to attack American gun owners and we respectfully ask you to oppose any and all action that would advance his confirmation in the Senate,” it concluded.
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