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David Chipman’s ATF Nomination Held Up by Uncertain Democrats

Former ATF Agent David Chipman, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

David Chipman, President Biden’s pick to lead the ATF, is facing strong opposition from Senate Republicans and uncertainty among some Democrats. 

Chipman, a gun owner and former ATF agent, is under fire for his support of firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons. 

The National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation are putting up a fight to stop Chipman’s nomination and have spent more than $4 million in radio and TV ads in the home states of moderate Democrats and Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Meanwhile, gun-control groups are putting up a fight of their own. 

“Confronting the epidemic of gun violence head-on is a cornerstone of the president’s gun crime strategy, and he looks forward to the Senate quickly voting on Chipman’s nomination as ATF Director,” Michael Gwin, a White House spokesman, said.

Chipman’s nomination advanced from the Senate Judiciary Committee after a 10-10 vote. But since then, Democrats have not scheduled a confirmation vote because they’re not sure if he has enough support. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., recently said there are “three or four” holdouts among Democrats.

With a 50-50 split in the Senate, every Democrat must support the nomination. 

Sens. John Hickenlooper, Colo. and Jon Tester, D., Mont., have recently indicated they are undecided.


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