GOP House Members Urge Senate to Reject Chipman as ATF Director Then-Giffords Law Center Senior Policy Advisor David Chipman speaks at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on assault weapons on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
By Brian Freeman | Tuesday, 04 May 2021 02:28 PM
Sixty-nine House Republicans sent a letter this week urging the Senate to reject President Joe Biden's nomination of David Chipman as Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) director, citing his "hostile attitude toward the rights of gun owners," Fox News reported on Tuesday.
Chipman, a former federal agent and adviser at the gun control group Giffords, was nominated last month by Biden as his ATF director.
House Republican Study Committee Chair Jim Banks and 68 other GOP congressmen wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell requesting that the Senate oppose Chipman's nomination on the grounds that his "beliefs and hostile attitude toward the rights of gun owners are well known," describing the nominee as a "longtime gun control activist and lobbyist," Fox reported.
The letter argued that Chipman’s confirmation would "threaten the landscape of firearm ownership for generations of Americans to come" and that he "would use every tool at his disposal to attack American gun owners."
The Republicans specifically cited that in October 2018, Chipman argued that all AR-15s and potentially all semi-automatic rifles should be subjected to regulation under the National Firearms Act, with the GOP House members pointing out that "Chipman knows all too well that such action would effectively ban the most popular rifle in America as well as most other items regulated under the National Firearms Act."
Chipman has received backing from gun control advocates.
Chipman, who is reportedly a gun owner, spent 25 years as an agent at the ATF, a law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice that tries to protect the public from criminal organizations and activity, including the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, according to Fox.
On the same day that Chipman was nominated by the president, Biden also issued a series of executive orders on gun control, including requesting that the Justice Department propose a rule within a month to stop "ghost guns," which are "kits" that can be pruchased legally, then fully assembles to create a firearm that does not have a serial number.
While at Giffords, Chipman exerted much energy seeking greater regulation and enforcement on ghost guns, as well as alterations to the background check system and ways to reduce the trafficking of illegal firearms.
The White House has said Chipman will respect the Second Amendment at the same time that he enforces gun laws.