In late May, Biden’s pick to head the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, David Chipman sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was questioned on why his nomination should move forward to the Senate for a full vote to confirm him to lead the agency.
During this, Chipman spoke on his willingness to ban average semi-automatic sporting rifles that are in common use. He was also questioned about his time as a lobbyist for most of the major antigun organizations.
Since that hearing took place in late May, Chipman’s nomination has worked itself out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a contentious party-line vote. But since being out of committee there has not yet been a full senate vote on Chipman, and we’re now at the beginning of September.
Seems like a long time to wait for a vote. There’s a reason for it though. David Chipman is an anti-gun activist who’s been tapped to lead the agency that focuses on America’s gun laws. Think of it like this: An inverse would be a Republican president nominating Wayne LaPierre (the head of the NRA) to lead the ATF.
In fact, David Chipman’s nomination is so controversial, some moderate Democrats are having a hard time voting for him. Specifically, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Angus King of Maine.
All these Senators are under major pressure from not only pro-gun groups nationally and local to them, but their constituents as well. With the midterms coming up, many are worried that a vote for Chipman could be the action that loses them their seat.
The most telling thing over time has been the attitude of the corporate media. In July, headlines read: “David Chipman is the Right Choice for ATF”, but as time passed even CNN has had to admit that “Biden’s ATF Pick faces grim confirmation prospects”.
Most recently, anti-gun activists have urged Biden to bypass Congress and create an office on gun violence, giving Chipman a job without having to have the Senate confirm him. We saw a similar situation earlier this year when Neera Tanden, who was up to be Biden’s budget director withdrew her nomination after combative tweets about lawmakers in both parties resurfaced. Two months after she withdrew her nomination, Biden appointed her to a senior adviser position.
This is becoming likely as Chipman’s nomination becomes more imperiled as the days go by, with most recently Sen. Angus King signaled to the Biden administration that he is not supportive of Chipman.
Only time will tell what will happen with Chipman, but now more than ever it is incredibly important for gun owners to keep calling their Senators and making their voices heard. If Chipman makes it into the ATF, it pushes us all one step closer to the goal of the anti-gun lobby, total disarmament of the population.