President Joe Biden received widespread criticism earlier this year for his nomination of David Chipman, a prominent gun-control advocate, to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
That backlash appears to have had an effect, as evidenced by Biden’s announcement this week that he had withdrawn Chipman’s nomination.
Background on post-ATF activism
The move came after a report on Thursday that some moderate Senate Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), might vote against his confirmation.
Sens. John Tester (D-MT) and Angus King (I-ME), who caucuses with the Democrats, indicated that they were also opposed to the former ATF agent becoming its next director.
After leaving the bureau, Chipman went on to serve as a senior policy adviser to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a group advocating for significant restrictions on the right to bear arms.
At one point during his confirmation hearing, Chipman proclaimed that the vague term “assault weapon” could be applied to “any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22.”
American Accountability Foundation President Tom Jones reacted with a statement that clarified why the conservative watchdog group is opposed to Chipman.
“An ethically deficient individual”
“The mainstream media will act like David Chipman’s nomination was pulled solely because of his gun control advocacy,” Jones said, according to TheBlaze. “The reality is the Bicen Administration nominated an ethically deficient individual with charges of racism and losing his service weapon to head the agency Biden would use to implement their gun control agenda.”
His remarks appeared to reference, in part, an investigation by his group that led to allegations that Chipman lost his service weapon after storing it in violation of bureau policies. ATF records, however, do not provide references to any such incident.
“The Biden Administration showed they will ignore ethical disqualifications to fulfill their radical agenda,” Jones asserted. “Fortunately, commonsense prevailed in the Senate today but we must remain vigilant after the Biden Administration showed they care nothing for ethical standards,” Jones concluded.
Although it was ultimately the opposition of a few moderate Democrats that doomed Chipman’s confirmation, Biden attempted to lay all the blame on the GOP.
“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,” he insisted.