September 10, 2021
With yesterday’s announcement that President Joe Biden is withdrawing his nomination of anti-gun activist David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), law-abiding gun owners, the Second Amendment and, in fact, our nation itself were victorious.
“Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress have made clear that they intend to use gun crime as a political talking point instead of taking serious steps to address it,” Biden said in a prepared statement. “That’s why they’ve moved in lockstep to block David Chipman’s confirmation, and it’s why they side with gun manufacturers over the overwhelming majority of the American people in opposing common sense measures like universal background checks.”
While that’s obviously a bunch of hogwash, the fact that gun owners, pro-gun groups and other lovers of freedom banded together and forced withdrawal of the nomination is notable. While the Biden administration has pretty much had its way at one-by-one trampling freedom after freedom, the administration admitting defeat on a key agency director nomination proves it can be beat if enough patriots stand together.
As most Firearms News readers will recall, Chipman most recently served as general counsel for the gun-ban group Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Prior to that, he advised a number of other anti-gun groups, and even appeared before Congress in unbridled support of an assault weapons ban. His disdain for gun owners was well documented, and just last year he denigrated Americans who bought guns for the first time in the midst of a pandemic and widespread social unrest.
Lawrence Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) senior vice president and general counsel, said in a news release that his group was pleased with the Chipman withdrawal.
“We believe strongly that ATF needs a Senate-confirmed director to lead the brave men and women of ATF,” Keane said. “David Chipman is not that person.”
The release continued: “The firearm industry hopes The White House will now nominate a qualified candidate who possesses executive leadership experience and will apply the law without a political agenda. NSSF has supported every prior nominee in the past, including President Barack Obama’s nomination of B. Todd Jones and more recently President Donald Trump’s nomination of Chuck Canterbury.”
In the end, Biden withdrew the Chipman nomination just so he didn’t have to face an embarrassing loss on the upcoming Senate vote required to confirm the appointment. And he made it clear that it wasn’t because he doesn’t still believe Chipman would have been a good ATF director—and that’s problematic in the long run.
“David Chipman spent 25 years in distinguished service to our country as an ATF agent,” Biden said in the statement. “He’s a gun owner himself, and someone who has the backing of law enforcement groups. And he’s spent most of (the) last decade as a leading voice for common sense gun violence prevention legislation that will save lives. He would have been an exemplary Director of the ATF and would have redoubled its efforts to crack down on illegal firearms traffickers and help keep our communities safe from gun violence.”
While freedom lovers can bask in victory today, Biden’s continued belief that Chipman would have been a good ATF director is proof that tomorrow we must redouble our efforts to fight all of the president’s gun-ban schemes until we can put a pro-Second Amendment advocate in the White House.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Regarding Biden’s statement: “He’s a gun owner himself, and someone who has the backing of law enforcement groups.” It is important to note that Castro, Hitler, and Stalin were also gun owners (Castro was also an avid hunter) who had support of law enforcement. The fact that Chipman is a gun owner is absolutely meaningless in regard to the 2nd Amendment as it was intended by the Founders of this nation.]
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 more than 20 years.