Less than two weeks after 69 U.S. House members encouraged U.S. Senate leaders to block President Joe Biden’s (D) nomination of David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) because he is an “enemy of the Second Amendment,” 17 Democrat state attorneys general are encouraging Chipman’s confirmation.
The attorneys general, led by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, wrote to Senate leaders: “As the chief law and law enforcement officers in our respective states and territories, many of us regularly work with ATF to combat violent criminals and gun trafficking in our communities. Our partnerships with ATF have proven invaluable in eliminating criminal organizations, fighting gun trafficking, and ensuring that the reasonable restrictions placed on gun possession are enforced without harming law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights. Mr. Chipman understands the agency inside-and-out, having served there for 25 years.”
What the attorneys general didn’t mention, of course, is that Chipman also knows the gun-control movement “inside and out.” Most recently, he has been serving as senior policy adviser for the anti-gun group Giffords, where he has advocated for a ban on semi-automatic rifles and other gun-ban schemes targeting law-abiding gun owners.
Apparently, those facts are welcome things to the anti-gun officials that signed the letter.
“In short, David Chipman is uniquely qualified to lead ATF,” the letter concluded. “He has deep experience at that agency, and he is ready to work with law enforcement, the communities most heavily impacted by violence, and others to make our nation safer while upholding Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”
That statement is in stark contrast to what the Republican congressmen wrote in their letter to U.S. Senate leaders a few weeks ago.
“If confirmed, David Chipman would use every tool at his disposal to attack American gun owners,” that letter read. “We respectfully ask you to oppose any and all action that would advance his confirmation in the Senate.”
Chipman, a longtime ATF agent, was involved in the Waco, Texas, debacle where 76 people, including women and children, were killed. More recently, he has been a shill and lobbyist for anti-gun groups, currently serving, as previously mentioned, on the staff for Giffords.
While proclaiming himself last year to be a “proud gun owner” who is “mischaracterized as a gun grabber,” Chipman spent the last five years working for an organization that favors nearly every anti-gun scheme imaginable. He most-recently mocked those Americans choosing to buy guns for the first time in the midst of the pandemic, widespread social unrest and a growing “defund the police” movement.
“Mr. Chipman has consistently worked to advance a radical gun control agenda,” the letter said. “Since leaving ATF, Mr. Chipman has worked for extreme organizations, including Everytown for Gun Safety and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. These groups have supported the dangerous notion that the Second Amendment does not protect a private right of gun ownership.”
Signers of the earlier letter also expressed their concern that Chipman has spoken out in favor of banning semi-auto rifles like the AR-15; in fact, he once even called the AR-15 a “weapon of war,” as if it were a full-auto firearm—not a semi-auto that fires one bullet with each press of the trigger.
“Mr. Chipman has a long history of advocating against Americans’ Second Amendment rights,” the letter said. “He supports limiting magazine capacity, holding gun manufacturers liable if one of their products is used by a criminal in a crime, and banning certain types of rifles—including America’s most popular rifle the AR-15.”
No date has been set yet for the Chipman confirmation hearings, but they are sure to be contentious—as they should be. Pro-gun senators simply can’t let this nomination proceed without a fight if they truly intend to protect the Second Amendment during the anti-gun Biden administration.