Home News White House pulls gun control activist as nominee to run the ATF

White House pulls gun control activist as nominee to run the ATF


Dave Goldiner

New York Daily News

The White House withdrew the controversial nomination of gun control activist David Chipman to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, two officials confirmed on Thursday.

Chipman, a top official at the gun control advocacy group founded by ex-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), could not win support of enough moderate senators to be confirmed by the chamber that is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

At least three Democratic moderates had privately said they wouldn’t vote to confirm Chipman. All 50 Republicans remained unified against a nominee they derided as a “gun grabber” and skeptic of Second Amendment rights.

Chipman is a former federal agent who went on to hold a senior position at Giffords, the eponymous gun control group named for the onetime congresswoman who survived being shot in an assassination attempt by a deranged constituent.

He won from advocates for his work pushing for greater regulation and enforcement on ghost guns, overhauling the background check system and moves to reduce the trafficking of illegal firearms.

But that same fierce advocacy drew opposition from moderates in both parties who hail from rural states, effectively dooming his chances of confirmation.

Chipman’s nomination had stalled for months and he was widely seen as one of the administration’s most contentious nominees. The White House and top Democrats had been pushing to try to save his nomination for weeks without success.

Chipman’s nomination was voted out of a Senate committee in a tie vote on June 24, But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has not brought him up on the Senate floor to be officially discharged from committee because he lacked support.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wasted little time cheering the decision to end the Chipmam nomination saga.

“Absurd that a vocal opponent of Americans’ constitutional rights was ever picked to run ATF,” he said. “This is a win for the Secon.d Amendment and law-abiding American citizens.”

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