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On Tuesday, a group of 20 Republican attorneys general sent a letter to Senate leadership opposing President Joe Biden’s nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), David Chipman.
According to the letter, which the Daily Caller first obtained, the attorneys general are concerned about Chipman’s past as a gun control advocate. Per a report from The Daily Wire, Champan 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 in the COVID lockdown, the ATF nominee also advocated for firearms dealers not to be classified as “essential businesses.”
Chipman’s resume also includes other possibly problematic positions, including 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. The 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, The Daily Wire previously reported.
In the letter, the 20 attorneys general made it clear the right to keep and bear arms is not about shooting as a hobby. It’s about preserving a 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 state leaders also expressed concern over the potential for a firearms registry, depending on the type of anti-gun rules and regulations Chipman would put in place.
“Given Mr. Chipman’s radical views and disdain for the facts, it is not a stretch to wonder if he wants owners of any type of firearm placed in a government registry,” the letter indicated.
According to the coalition, if Chipman is confirmed as the ATF head, Americans will have little faith in his ability to “be an unbiased enforcer of current laws.”