David Chipman was an ATF special agent before leaving the Bureau to work for a private company called Shot Spotter. He served as its Vice President of marketing. Shop Spotter has face criticism from activists for being infective and targeting minority neighborhoods. Several major localities have canceled contracts with the company over these concerns. A Chicago Inspector General report shows the system only to be effective 9% of the time.
After his stint with Shot Spotter, Chipman went on to help Bloomberg start Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The organization morphed into Everytown for Gun Safety. He then went to work for Giffords.org. Giffords is an anti-gun organization founded by Gabby Giffords after being shot in a Safeway parking lot during a campaign stop.
When Biden nominated Chipman, anti-gun groups like the Brady Organization and Everytown celebrated. People in the political world saw the nomination of Mr. Chipman as payback to anti-gun groups that backed Biden and dumped massive amounts of money into the past Presidential election cycle.
Chipman faced harsh criticism from gun rights groups for being an open anti-gun advocate. They also believed that Chipman was nominated for political reasons. Chipman has even suggested in the past that rifles that take detachable magazines should be regulated like machine guns because he believes it speeds up the rate of fire.
The gun world united to stop him from being confirmed. Significant pressure was upon Democratic Senators from conservative areas such as Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia. Every national gun group launched some sort of campaign to stop Chipman from being confirmed.
At the same time, past racist comments allegedly made by David Chipman surfaced from his time at the ATF. Mr. Chipman made statements accusing black agents of cheating on tests because of their high scores. He insinuated that they couldn’t have scored as high as they did without cheating.
The anti-gun lobby credited the gun-rights movement with killing Mr. Chipman’s nomination. Brady United accused gun organizations of running a “smear campaign.”
It is reported that the White House will withdraw the ATF director nomination of David Chipman, after a smear campaign from the gun lobby + resistance from a majority of senators.
— Brady | United Against Gun Violence (@bradybuzz) September 9, 2021
Executive Director Igor Volsky of rabid anti-gun group, Guns Down America, accused the Biden Administration of breaking its promises to the anti-gun lobby. Anti-gun zealot Fred Guttenberg also blamed the White House for not getting Chipman confirmed.
The White House’s decision — and choice — to not put up a fight to confirm David Chipman to head the ATF is a significant failure that undermines the promises President Biden made while running for office.
We need Biden’s leadership to address this crisis -and we need it now. https://t.co/yRiXQn7Y5R
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) September 9, 2021
But We Are Not Done with Chipman
Even though the Biden Administration is pulling Mr. Chipman’s nomination for head of the ATF, they are still looking for a position for him in occupy. This search for a job leads gun rights advocates to worry that the White House might appoint him to the “Gun Czar.” Biden in the past has considered Beto O’Rourke for the position.
A Czar is a position created within the White House without oversight from Congress. These positions are controversial because there is no oversight from Congress. Many people see these positions as the Executive branch overstepping its boundaries to appoint people to jobs that could never make it through a confirmation hearing.
Gun rights groups are demanding that the White House drop the search for a job for Mr. Chipman. They claim that David Chipman’s inability to make it through a confirmation hearing in Congress should disqualify him for all other positions within the White House, including a “gun czar.”
Gun Owners of America (GOA) Director of Federal Affairs agrees that Chipman is not fit to serve in any position within the federal government dealing with guns. He implores the Biden Administration from trying to find Chipman a job.
“David Chipman’s opposition to the Bill of Rights earned him the opposition of every Republican senator, and unanswered allegations of racism undermined his support among Democratic senators,” Johnston told AmmoLand News.
“Chipman’s disgust for the Second Amendment makes him uniquely unqualified to direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives—or any other public office for that matter. The Biden Administration should cease all efforts to ‘find another role” for this anti-constitutional rights activist who failed to earn the support of the United States Senate.”
The battle over David Chipman continues, but gun owners won a hard-fought battle.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.