President Joe Biden nominated a gun-control advocate as the director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). David Chipman, who worked at the ATF for over 20 years, is an adviser for the gun control advocacy group named for former Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
In 2011, a man named Jared Lee Loughner attempted to kill Giffords and succeeded in murdering six others. Since her shooting, Giffords has advocated gun control.
Sources reported on Thursday that the president has withdrawn Chipman’s nomination after pushback from Republicans. Fox News noted that some Democrats didn’t publicly support him.
This marks the second major defeat for one of President Biden’s nominees of his term. The White House withdrew its nomination of Neera Tanden to run the Office of Management and Budget earlier this year, after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced he opposed her over her controversial Twitter history.
No doubt President Biden will appoint another gun-rights opponent to head the ATF, but perhaps not someone with such an obvious conflict of interest.
The president himself wants to tighten restrictions on “ghost guns” and regulate a device known as a stabilizing brace, which allows a pistol to operate as a short-barreled rifle. He’s called for a national “red flag” law that will allow family members and law enforcement to seek a court order to block “people in crisis” from having access to their guns “if they present a danger to themselves or others.”
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