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Nearly Two Dozen Wildlife Conservation Groups Release Letter Opposing David Chipman’s ATF Nomination


The conservation groups wrote to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last week opposing Chipman.


Twenty-two wildlife conservation organizations are urging Senate leaders to reject the nomination of Biden’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) director pick David Chipman due to “his long record of radical anti-firearm statements and actions.”

Their letter, written to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., last week, is the latest call from organizations urging the Senate not to confirm Chipman, an anti-gun lobbyist, to ATF leadership.

“At the outset, we would note that the majority of the undersigned organizations have never opposed an ATF nominee,” the groups stated. “Given Mr. Chipman’s longstanding public activism against our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage, however, we are compelled to oppose his nomination. Many of us, for example, are concerned that confirming a high-ranking official of one of the country’s most prolific anti-gun organizations would politicize a traditionally apolitical bureau. Others fear Mr. Chipman will weaponize the directorship and lead to the undermining of our Second Amendment rights through punitive administrative actions.”

The groups specifically reference that many new gun owners are minorities and women, and that there has been a 41 percent increase in female hunters. “This increase in shooting sports activities was accompanied by a 7.6% increase in hunting license sales, which are a vital funding source for state wildlife programs,” the letter says.

Chipman reiterated in his confirmation hearing his support for a ban on AR-15s. He likewise called for an “assault weapons” ban in 2019 during a House Judiciary Committee hearing. There is no indication that the nominee is not still employed at Giffords, a gun-control group, which supports a ban on so-called “assault weapons” as well as large-capacity magazines. Chipman’s resume still lists Giffords as “present.”

“Chipman would be a very bad head of the ATF and we’re doing everything we can to get that confirmation to not happen,” a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, one of the signers, told The Federalist.

The groups that signed the letter include:

  • Boone and Crockett Club
  • California Waterfowl
  • Camp Fire Club of America
  • Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
  • Conservation Force
  • Dallas Safari Club
  • Delta Waterfowl
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Fur Takers of America
  • Houston Safari Club
  • Masters of Foxhounds Association
  • Mule Deer Foundation
  • National Deer Association
  • National Shooting Sports Foundation
  • National Rifle Association
  • National Trappers Association
  • National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Professional Outfitters and Guides of America
  • Safari Club International
  • Sportsmen’s Alliance
  • Wildlife Mississippi
  • Wild Sheep Foundation

Below is the letter in opposition to Chipman’s confirmation.

AWCP Letter in Opposition to Chipman Nomination (06-11-21) by The Federalist on Scribd