Biden withdraws David Chipman’s nomination to go the ATF

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is withdrawing David Chipman as his nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after encountering opposition to his support for gun control, which is confirmed in the Senate, according to three sources familiar with the decision has blocked.

The White House did not want to confirm the move first reported by Politico and The Washington Post. Chipman was briefed on the decision on Wednesday, a source said. Chipman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chipman, a former agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, drew harsh criticism from Republicans, who argued that his work with the Everytown and Giffords gun control groups, led by former MP Gabrielle Giffords, removed him from the position disqualified that the law holds enforcement powers over arms manufacturers, importers and sellers in the country.

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His nomination was pending the decision of Senator Angus King, a Maine independent sitting with the Democrats. Without King’s support, the White House was unable to get 50 votes in the evenly divided Senate for its endorsement.

Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Celebrated Chipman’s retreat. “It is absurd that a vocal opponent of American constitutional rights was ever chosen to run ATF,” McConnell said in a tweet. “This is an asset to the Second Amendment and law-abiding American citizens.”

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For gun control advocates, this was another clear loss that resulted in no gun control measures being passed in Congress despite gun crimes on the rise.

Igor Volsky, founder and managing director of Guns Down America, called the move “a significant setback for the efforts of the Biden government to combat the increasing gun violence and the illegal arms trade”.

“This is a boon to gun manufacturers who have benefited from poor enforcement of existing gun laws and who have spent millions defaming these dedicated officials,” said Volsky. He asked Biden to set up an office in the White House devoted to gun violence.

Attorney General Merrick Garland (center) leaves the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Office headquarters in Washington with Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco (right) and Acting Director of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Marvin G. Richardson (left), Thursday July 22, 2021.

Chipman, who was nominated by Biden in April, has been the subject of other attacks, ranging from complaints that he made discriminatory comments about black agents during his tenure to fears he was trying to radically curtail the rights of the second amendment.

Chipman’s supporters kicked off a final press on King with private meetings at the end of a painful nomination that saw millions spent lobbying on television, radio, and the Internet in addition to disinformation about the former agent and his family.

More:ATF’s failure to keep public records keeps the arms industry in the shadows

Chipman’s withdrawal marks the second time any of Biden’s nominations have collapsed. Neera Tanden, his election to lead the Office of Management and Budget, withdrew from the exam in March after facing backlash for targeting Republicans on Twitter.

Reach out to Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison

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