A group of 20 Republican attorneys general sent a letter to Senate leadership opposing President Biden’s nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), David Chipman.
The Daily Caller first obtained the letter, which the attorneys general are concerned about Chipman’s radical past as a gun control advocate. Chipman previously worked for the gun control organizations Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords as a registered lobbyist. In those roles he advocated for a number of key anti-Second Amendment pieces of legislation, including an Assault Weapons Ban, implementation of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (commonly referred to as “red flag laws”), a ban on bump stocks, and against concealed carry reciprocity (where concealed carry permits are recognized in all 50 states). Early on during the COVID lockdowns, Chipman also advocated for firearms dealers not to be classified as “Essential businesses.”
Chipman’s questionable resume also includes him serving as the case agent in the Branch Davidian trial. In that situation, the ATF was interested in bringing down a religious cult in Waco, Texas for stockpiling illegal firearms. This sting resulted in a 51 day standoff with cult leader David Koresh, who refused to turn over his firearms. In that standoff, 76 Davidians died, 25 of whom were children. Chipman later denied the ATF was responsible for the botched raid, later he falsely claimed that Branch Davidian members shot down helicopters during the Waco Massacre.
In the letter, the 20 attorneys generals made it very clear that the right to keep and bear arms is not about shooting as a hobby, It’s about preserving our very way of life.
“Firearms are far beyond a hobby or a passion. They are a part of our national heritage and everyday life for tens of millions of Americans, particularly those of us who live in rural areas. We use them to hunt, protect livestock, and provide peace of mind when law enforcement may be miles away,” the coalition wrote. “This is why Mr. Chipman’s past affiliation with anti-gun organizations and his extreme positions on commonly owned firearms is so concerning to us as attorneys general and why he is unfit to be confirmed as head of the ATF.”
The attorneys general also expressed concern over a potential national gun registry that could be put in place should Chipman be confirmed.
According to the coalition, if Chipman is confirmed as the head of ATF, Americans will have little faith in his ability to “be an unbiased enforcer of current laws.”