President Joe Biden on Thursday withdrew his nomination for David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Chipman has been ensnared in a battle with gun rights groups and Congress members and failed to capture the votes he needed.
“He would have been 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,” President Biden said. “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. 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 commonsense measures like universal background checks.”
Chipman was an agent for the ATF for twenty-five years.
“I knew this confirmation process would be difficult, and while ultimately we weren’t successful, it remains essential that ATF is led by a confirmed Director who is accountable to the public and places not special interests before the safety of our children and our communities,” Chipman said.
Chipman faced opposition from numerous Senate Republicans. During his confirmation hearing, he was aggressively questioned by Senate Republicans over statements he made about new gun owners.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), the National Association for Gun Rights, Gun Owners of America, and many other groups deemed Chipman a threat to gun owners.
Chipman is supportive of bans on military-style weapons and limits on high-capacity magazines.
“Glad to hear reports the White House is taking my advice and pulling the terrible nomination of David Chipman,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote on Twitter.
Gun violence prevention advocates say the White Houses’ decision to revoke the nomination is not beneficial for the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.
“This is a boon for gun manufactures that profit from the weak enforcement of existing gun laws and have spent millions maligning his dedicated public servant,” Igor Volsky, Founder and Executive Director of Guns Down America, said.
Chipman works as a senior policy advisor for Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords, a gun violence prevention organization founded by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Senator Mark Kelly.