News & Politics

Biden Withdraws ATF Nominee Who Doesn't Believe Right to Own a Gun Is Guaranteed by the Constitution

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Joe Biden has been forced to withdraw his choice of David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives following revelations that he used racially discriminatory language in describing a black ATF agent.

The fact that he doesn’t believe that the right to own a gun is guaranteed by the Second Amendment apparently wasn’t disqualifying enough.

Chipman is a bona fide gun-grabber — a legitimate threat to American’s Second Amendment rights. He worked for the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence — an outfit notoriously hostile to private gun ownership.

Biden should have chosen someone to lead the ATF who wanted to safeguard our rights, not destroy them.

Fox News:

Chipman, who had a history of caustic comments about gun owners and worked for gun control groups for years after his career as an ATF agent, was staunchly opposed by Republicans. But he struggled to gain the support of several Democrats, who never explicitly opposed Chipman’s nomination but also never publicly supported him either.

“Mr. Chipman’s long record as a partisan, anti-Second Amendment activist raised plenty of concerns about how he’d administer federal firearms laws. But that wasn’t the only cause for concern,” Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said. “The record he concealed from Congress, some of which remains hidden to this day, about how he treated his fellow employees while at the ATF confirms his lack of fitness to lead the agency.”

Chipman is the second major Biden nominee to be withdrawn. The president’s first choice for Office of Management and Budget director, Neera Tanden, went down in flames over some controversial tweets about Republicans.

Republicans in the Senate were gleeful.

Not everyone was overjoyed with Biden’s decision to withdraw Chipman.

“It is hugely disappointing and unconscionable that 50 members of the U.S. Senate as well as at least one senator who caucuses with the President’s party would deny President Biden his choice to lead the ATF. It is even more concerning that they would do so by parroting the talking points of the gun lobby, which has spread misinformation and blatant lies about David Chipman since his nomination was announced,” Brady President Kris Brown said.

“It is immoral and indefensible that the only agency with regulatory oversight over the gun industry has been permitted to persist for so many years without leadership, because of the outsized influence the gun industry has over what used to be considered ‘the world’s greatest deliberative body,’” Brown added. She also said that “we cannot continue to allow this position to be senate-confirmable.”

Not “Senate-confirmable”? That would be great! Let’s make it an elected office. We’ll have the ATF chief run a national campaign.

Somehow, I doubt very much that the outcome of such an election would meet with Ms. Brown’s approval any more than scuttling Chipman’s nomination did.