The Biden administration will shortly withdraw David Chipman as their nomination to head the ATF, with a White House official claiming they do not have the votes to support his appointment.
The news of Chipman’s withdrawal by the Biden administration was first reported by the Washington Post, which confirmed that after a long battle in the Senate hearings, his confirmation as head of the ATF would not be continued. “We do not have the votes,” one senior administration official told CNN, adding that he would instead be placed into a job that would not require confirmation within the administration. The last time a director of the ATF was nominated by the Senate was in 2013.
Chipman came under fire from Republicans for his radical gun-control activism. In an “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit, he called for many restrictions on firearms, including arguing that “all gun sales should be limited to licensed gun stores where a background check and paperwork is required,” and that there should be a ban on production on sales of all assault rifles. This is despite the fact that he admitted carrying a concealed firearm sometimes in public.
Chipman is also still employed as a Senior Policy Advisor at Giffords, the organization founded by sitting Democrat Arizona Senator Mark Kelly and his wife, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, “to aggressively advocate for radical action, including a ban on commonly owned semi-automatic rifles and the imposition of ruinous legal liability on firearm-related companies.”
Conservatives and Second Amendment supporters understandably celebrated the news when it broke. Senator Tom Cotton, who described Chipman as an “unhinged gun-grabber,” said that his nomination defeat is a “win for the Constitution and a crushing loss for Joe Biden.” Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona said that his withdrawal was proof of “why we fight,” while the Libertarian Party of Texas was quick to remind the public of Chipman’s belief that Branch Davidians shot down National Guard helicopters during the Waco siege by the ATF and others, a completely untrue conspiracy theory.
David Chipman is an unhinged gun-grabber.
His defeat is a win for the Constitution—and a crushing loss for Joe Biden. pic.twitter.com/SlkpeGerGu
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) September 9, 2021
The nomination of the wacko of Waco, David Chipman, has been withdrawn!
— Libertarian Party of Texas (@LPTexas) September 9, 2021
Liberals and anti-gun activists were understandably furious, ironically blaming the apparent grip the NRA and other groups have over elected officials. “The gun lobby has a hammerlock on Washington,” said Max Boot, the Washington Post opinion columnist. “No wonder we have so much more gun violence than any other wealthy democracy.” Igor Volsky of Guns Down America said that the result was a “significant failure” that undermines promises Biden made before getting into office.
The gun lobby has a hammerlock on Washington. No wonder we have so much more gun violence than any other wealthy democracy. https://t.co/dxovFhlQsK
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) September 9, 2021
The White House's decision — and choice — to not put up a fight to confirm David Chipman to head the ATF is a significant failure that undermines the promises President Biden made while running for office.
We need Biden's leadership to address this crisis -and we need it now. https://t.co/yRiXQn7Y5R
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) September 9, 2021