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Biden Plans to Withdraw Nomination to Lead ATF After Senate Support Fell Short

Former ATF Agent David Chipman, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

President Biden plans to withdraw his pick to lead the ATF, David Chipman, after the nomination floundered in the Senate, The Associated Press reports.

Chipman, a gun owner and former ATF agent, has come under fire for his support of firearm restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons. He’s also a former adviser at the Giffords, a gun control group. 

Since no Republicans were supporting the nomination, Chipman needed the support of all 50 Democrats. Sens. John Hickenlooper, Colo. and Jon Tester, Mont., were among at least two holdouts.

The National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation were 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.

Chipman’s nomination advanced from the Senate Judiciary Committee after a 10-10 vote in June. But since then, Democrats have not scheduled a confirmation vote because they weren’t sure if Chipman had enough support. 

Without a permanent ATF leader, the Biden administration will likely have a more difficult time pushing forward gun control measures. 


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