Biden Will Withdraw ATF Nominee Amid Bipartisan Opposition

David Chipman had history of radical gun-control policy stances

David Chipman in 2013 (Paul J. Richards / AFP via Getty Images)
September 9, 2021

President Joe Biden will withdraw his nominee with a history of radical gun policy stances from leading the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to the Washington Post.

David Chipman, a former ATF agent, faced slim odds of a Senate confirmation due to his longtime advocacy for strict gun control. During his confirmation hearings, Republican and Democratic senators expressed concern that his views, which included a blanket assault weapons ban, infringed on citizens' gun rights. He is currently a senior policy adviser to Giffords, a gun control advocacy group.

Chipman has made partisan and inflammatory comments about gun rights and gun ownership over the years, many of which remain on his Facebook account, according to the New York Post. In one post, he said AR-15 "marketing appears to target mass shooters."

Reload founder and former Washington Free Beacon reporter Stephen Gutowski also reported Chipman made racist remarks to a fellow agent that led to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint being filed against him.

"He made some comments that he was surprised by the number of African Americans who have made it onto a specific promotional list," the ATF official said. "His insinuation was that they had to have cheated. Which is kind of despicable."

The Senate Judiciary Committee stalled over Chipman's confirmation in June, when Democrats failed to secure the requisite votes. Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.), a member of the committee, said in a statement that Biden's withdrawal of his nominee was a foregone conclusion, given the radical views Chipman held on legal gun ownership.

"Chipman got the axe because his far-left gun control fantasies were wildly outside the mainstream," Sasse said. "The guy wants to ban some of the most popular rifles for home defense and hunting. He showed downright contempt for law-abiding Americans who want to protect their families."

This is the second nominee to lead an executive agency that Biden has been forced to withdraw. Neera Tanden, Biden's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, was similarly withdrawn for holding notably partisan views.