Starting on Wednesday morning, David Chipman — Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) — will appear in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee as part of his confirmation hearing.
For critics, Chipman’s controversial history as a staunch gun control advocate is cause for grave concern in the context of the Biden administration’s broader war on the Second Amendment.
Before working as a gun control activist, Chipman was a special agent with the ATF for 25 years. He was reportedly one of the agents involved in the Waco siege and massacre in 1993, an accusation disputed by Leftist outlets. After the ATF attempted to serve a search and arrest warrant at Mount Carmel Center ranch in Axtell, Texas — home to Branch Davidians, a religious sect — a fierce gunfight ensued. After 51 days, a siege ended with the Mount Carmel Center engulfed in flames as federal agents stormed the building. The fire resulted in the deaths of 76 members of the sect, including 25 children and two pregnant women.
As the Daily Mail reported, Chipman later “blatantly” lied about the events that transpired during the siege. “Notably, Chipman falsely claimed in a 2020 Reddit post that during the Waco standoff between Branch Davidian religious sect members and ATF agents that cult members shot down two helicopters — something that blatantly did not happen,” wrote the Daily Mail.
In one answer during an “Ask Me Anything” Reddit thread, “Chipman said during the ATF standoff with the Branch Davidians, ‘cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters.’”
As the Daily Mail noted, Chipman was also involved in the 11-day “Ruby Ridge” standoff in 1992.
“The event started because a man, Randy Weaver, received three conflicting court dates for a bench warrant related to firearms charges. He suspected there was a conspiracy against him and refused to surrender when government agents came down on him,” the Mail explained. After federal agencies, including the ATF, became involved, Weaver and his three daughters surrendered, but “Weaver’s 14-year-old son, his wife Vicki and their dog were all killed by Marshals and FBI agents.”
Dudley Brown, the President of the National Association for Gun Rights, referenced Chipman’s role in ATF scandals as part of the reason why his nomination would be deeply problematic.
“David Chipman has been on the leading edge of ATF scandals for decades, all the way back to Waco — and now he shills for gun confiscation with Gun Control Inc.,” Brown said, according to Fox News. “Chipman has embraced every hair-brained gun control scheme proposed, so of course Biden and Harris chose him — he’ll fit right in with their corrupt administration.”
Not only is Chipman’s alleged scandal-laced history a concern, he became an outspoken gun control activist in the years following his ATF service.
“His most recent employer — Giffords, part of a gun safety organization founded by Rep. Gabby Giffords — has pushed this year for stripping gun manufacturers of protection from lawsuits if their guns are used in crimes, requiring permits for the purchase of all types of guns, and limiting magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition,” reported The Washington Examiner.
Listed as a “Giffords Expert,” Chipman is described as a “senior policy advisor” at the gun control advocacy group, and is an outspoken advocate for gun control, particularly regarding so-called “assault weapons.”
In 2019, Chipman spoke before the House Judiciary Committee on the subject of mass shooting events, and spoke of finding a balance between his view of gun rights and the prevention of gun violence as one between “the rights of individuals and the rights of all Americans, and a human right not to get shot.”
“Our nation’s current gun violence crisis has made two things very clear: one, it is far too easy for violent people to get their hands on violent weapons,” he said. “Two, the American people overwhelmingly want Congress to act now to make their communities safer.”
Chipman was also a lobbyist for former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s “Everytown for Gun Safety” initiative. During his time as an activist, Chipman has lobbied Congress for “universal background checks, handgun licensing and registration, banning modern sporting rifles (MSRs), instituting age-based gun bans and to establish a national firearm transfer delay period.”
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