Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said that confirming President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives would be like “putting Antifa in charge of the Portland Police Department.”
“Day to day, ATF plays a significant role in the legal trade of firearms in this country,” the ranking member said during the Senate Judiciary hearing on Wednesday. “Many see putting a committed gun control proponent like Mr. Chipman in charge of ATF as like putting a tobacco executive in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, or Antifa in charge of the Portland Police Department.”
“Many see putting a committed gun control proponent, like David Chipman, in charge of ATF… is like putting Antifa in charge of the Portland police department.” –Sen. @ChuckGrassley #OpposeChipman pic.twitter.com/FTW2mcW6Gq
— NRA (@NRA) May 26, 2021
President Joe Biden first nominated David Chipman in April, citing the nominee’s tenure at the ATF as qualification enough to assume the rare director position. Shortly after the White House nominated Chipman, Republicans noted the anti-gun lobbyist’s track record, including working for gun control group Giffords and advocating for bans and regulations on assault rifles, suppressors, bump stocks, certain ammunition, and homemade firearms.
Chipman also came under fire after falsely claiming that the Branch Davidians shot down government helicopters during the Waco, Texas siege in 1993, and for his comments mocking Americans as zombie preppers for buying guns during government-mandated lockdowns.
One day before Chipman’s hearing, 20 Republican attorneys general sent a letter to U.S. Senate leaders asking legislators to pass on confirming the ATF pick due to his history of anti-gun activism.