May 10, 2021
By Mark Chesnut
Calling him an “enemy of the Second Amendment,” 69 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a letter to Senate leaders asking them to block the confirmation of David Chipman, President Joe Biden’s choice for head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The letter, penned by U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Indiana, and also signed by 68 other Republican Congressmen, was sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"If confirmed, David Chipman would use every tool at his disposal to attack American gun owners,” the letter read. “We respectfully ask you to oppose any and all action that would advance his confirmation in the Senate.”
As we reported a few weeks ago, 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, and currently serves as the senior policy adviser for gun-ban group 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.
The letter from the 69 congressmen specifically mentioned Chipman’s involvement with the Giffords organization and other gun-ban groups as being especially problematic.
“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 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.”
Chipman also once lied about the Waco standoff to such an extent that even some in “mainstream” media began questioning his nomination. In a 2019 question-and-answer forum on Reddit, he wrote, “At Waco, cult members used two .50-caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters. It is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often.” In fact, that was not even remotely true. The boldface lie prompted the New York Post to run a story headlined, “Biden ATF pick Chipman made false claims about shot-down choppers at Waco massacre.”
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.