Thomas Catenacci, DCNF
- A coalition of 21 states sent a letter to Senate leaders Tuesday urging them to reject President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
- “The ATF has an important role to play in upholding the public safety of communities around the country. Its agents deserve a director who will inspire confidence from the people they serve,” the letter stated.
- The attorneys general are concerned ATF nominee David Chipman would divert the bureau’s resources from cracking down on violent criminals to attacking Americans’ Second Amendment rights, they wrote in the letter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
A coalition of 21 states sent a letter to Senate leaders Tuesday, urging them to reject President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
David Chipman’s past anti-gun activism makes him unfit to lead the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to the letter signed by 21 Republican state attorneys general and obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. Confirming Chipman would be an attack on the Second Amendment and on the millions of law-abiding gun owners in the U.S.
“The ATF has an important role to play in upholding the public safety of communities around the country. Its agents deserve a director who will inspire confidence from the people they serve,” the letter stated. “Given Mr. Chipman’s history of anti-gun lobbying and political activism, Americans cannot be reasonably expected to believe he will be an unbiased enforcer of current laws.”
The attorneys general are concerned Chipman would divert the bureau’s resources from cracking down on violent criminals to attacking Americans’ Second Amendment rights, they wrote in the letter. Americans would ultimately be less safe with Chipman leading the ATF, they said.
Chipman was an ATF special agent for 25 years before joining the prominent gun control group Giffords as a senior policy advisor.
President Joe Biden nominated Chipman to be director of the ATF in April. The president said Chipman is the “right person” to lead the ATF during remarks on April 8 during which he laid out a series of executive actions related to gun control.
The attorneys general accused Chipman of being out of touch with Americans in their Tuesday letter. They referenced Chipman’s position favoring more regulations on AR-15 rifles, which they said are used in fewer murders than sharp objects.
“As state Attorneys General, we took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and protect the rights and freedoms of our constituents,” the letter said. “These responsibilities force us to stand in opposition to Mr. Chipman’s nomination and in support of our constituents’ rights.”
The letter of opposition was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley. The effort was led by Republican Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia joined Montana.
The attorneys general concluded by demanding that Biden nominate someone “who is not hostile to our rights and way of life” to lead the ATF.
A coalition of 17 Democratic attorneys general, meanwhile, penned a letter to Schumer, McConnell, Durbin and Grassley in support of Chipman last week, according to The Hill. They argued he is “uniquely qualified” to lead the ATF.
Chipman will be questioned during a Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, according to a schedule of events.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that an additional state joined the letter.
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