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Biden’s Former ATF Nominee Says ‘It’s Easier to Buy a Gun Than a Beer’

Former ATF Agent David Chipman, via Twitter.

Steve Neavling

David Chipman, President Biden’s former pick to lead the ATF, said the Senate’s failure to approve his nomination would exacerbate gun violence in the U.S. 

“I have, from 25 years as an ATF agent, and largely for ten years after that, committed myself to one thing: preventing gun violence in this country,” Chipman told “CBS Evening News” in an exclusive interview. “To oppose me must mean that you’re not for preventing gun violence.”

In September, Biden withdrew Chipman’s nomination after Senate Democrats were unable to get enough votes to approve him. 

Chipman, a gun owner and former ATF agent, had 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. 

Chipman said it’s too easy to buy guns in America. 

“I think the real conversation we’re having, and I want to be clear, is the fear is it’s gonna be harder for people who sell guns to sell guns absent any accountability for profiting from selling them to criminals and terrorists. The reality is in much of America it’s easier to buy a gun than a beer,” he said. “The problem is the gun industry profits by gun violence itself because it’s the fear that you’re gonna get shot, that you run out and buy a gun.” 

The ATF has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since 2015. Asked what the ATF needs to effectively combat gun violence, Chipman responded, “A leader, the funding to do their job, and the ability to support state and local law enforcement, which is why ATF was created in the first place.” 


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