The White House is pulling David Chipman’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives after the administration failed to get the Senate votes needed to confirm him.
President Joe Biden first nominated Chipman, who is a senior policy adviser for the gun-control group Giffords, with hopes that there would be enough congressional support to confirm what would have been the first director the regulatory agency has had in years. After key senators refused to express their explicit support for Chipman, the Biden administration was forced to sit back and listen to Republicans who called out Chipman for being an “anti-gun extremist.”
Legislators not only scrutinized Chipman for his support for banning AR-15s, but they also noted that the nominee deleted thousands of his old tweets and made his account private, much like Biden’s pick to lead the White House Management and Budget Office, Neera Tanden, who did not make it through confirmation after getting caught deleting hundreds of tweets peddling in conspiracies.
A later report suggested that Chipman “has exhibited a pattern of extremely concerning racially biased behavior” by instigating “an unwarranted investigation into an African American employee who he alleged, without evidence, cheated on an exam to become a GS-15.” Another report suggested Chipman failed to disclose multiple interviews and other events to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“The frustration is, in the United States, the freedom of speech and to say things is largely — cannot be regulated,” Chipman said in 2019. “We have to do more to monitor hate speech on the internet. But we also have to do more to curb that same speech being presented by our president and other elected public officials.”
“The FBI, other federal agencies, have a tough job responding to these threats when they don’t currently have the authority to remove weaponry just because people are saying hateful things,” he also said.
“David Chipman is an unhinged gun-grabber. His defeat is a win for the Constitution — and a crushing loss for Joe Biden,” Republican Sen. Tom Cotton tweeted shortly after the announcement.
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
“President Biden should have never nominated anti-gun David Chipman for ATF Director, and I’m pleased to see reports that his nomination will be withdrawn. His confirmation would have jeopardized the constitutional rights of every legal firearm owner in America, and his anti-Second Amendment beliefs make him completely unfit to serve in any kind of leadership position anywhere in this administration,” Republican Rep. Chip Roy told The Federalist. “The right to keep and bear arms in self-defense is a human right enshrined in our Constitution; those who enforce our laws need to understand that.”