By: José Niño
Joe Biden’s recent decision to nominate former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) agent and gun control advocate David Chipman as the head of the ATF has rightfully worried principled gun owners across the country.
We already know the ATF is an unaccountable bureaucracy that dedicates itself to chipping away at the Second Amendment. But with Chipman at the helm, the ATF’s anti-gun crusading will be amplified significantly.
Here are five reasons why David Chipman would be a terrible candidate to direct the ATF:
1. Chipman is a veteran of the ATF. He worked there for more 20 years and was employed when the Ruby Ridge standoff and Waco Massacre happened. He gained notoriety as a case agent in the Waco massacre and allegedly claimed that members of the Branch Davidians shot down helicopters. In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread, a user who identified himself as Chipman made a post with this claim, which ended up going viral after his nomination was announced.
To add insult to injury, a photo of a young Chipman posing once the dust settled from the massacre of 76 Branch Davidians also went viral. For his slavish loyalty to the ATF, Chipman moved up the ranks to assume the role as the head of the agency’s Firearms Division.
(Photo from the National Association for Gun Rights)
In this leadership role, Chipman did nothing about the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, which led to the deaths of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and hundreds of American and Mexican citizens at the hands of Mexican cartels. Chipman clearly views his ATF work as a noble public service, which should frighten any person who cherishes the Second Amendment.
2. From 2013 to 2016, Chipman served as a senior policy advisor for Giffords, a civilian disarmament group founded by former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Chipman also worked for Everytown for Gun Safety as senior policy advisor from 2012 to 2013. We’re looking at a true believer here, and in a position as head of the ATF, Chipman will use his power to harass gun owners non-stop.
3. Chipman is on record in support of Minority Report pre-crime measures to harass otherwise lawful gun owners. In a show released on April 8, 2021, Fox News host Tucker Carlson highlighted Chipman’s desire to arrest American citizens who fail background checks to buy firearms. Chipman stated that such failures provide the “perfect opportunity to arrest people before committing crimes.” Often left out of these debates is how the current background check system, most of the time, produces false positives, where a law-abiding citizen gets mixed and matched with criminals who share similar names. Chipman will undoubtedly exploit NICS’ bureaucratic flaws to try to disarm as many people as possible.
4. The passage of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was a travesty, and thank goodness it expired in 2004. If Chipman had his way, he would revive this gun grab and then some. At a testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in 2019, Chipman declared that “[S]imply reinstating the 90s-era ban on assault weapons is not enough." Instead, he believes lawmakers should entertain the idea of registration requirements for "all existing assault weapons in the hands of civilians ... while banning the future manufacture and sale of these weapons." In addition, Chipman believes there should be registration and taxes imposed on sales of certain weapons, such as "sawed-off shotguns, short-barrel rifles, machine guns," and accessories like silencers.
5. Chipman is in favor of “red flag” gun confiscation orders, which destroy due process by allowing activist judges to take lawful citizens’ firearms before they’ve been convicted of a crime.
Many no-compromise Second Amendment organizations are well aware of Chipman’s anti-gun credentials. GPM was able to reach out to Dudley Brown, the President of the National Association for Gun Rights, for comment on Chipman’s nomination. Brown told us:
“Nominating David Chipman to head the ATF is absolutely abhorrent. Choosing Chipman to direct the ATF is about as smart as nominating Ted Kaczynski to head the United States Postal Service. We’re actively mobilizing our 4.5 million members in opposition to his nomination.”
Undoubtedly, Chipman would be the most radical proponent ever to be in charge of the ATF. For that reason, his nomination should be vigorously opposed by anyone who actually supports the Second Amendment. Anti-gunners may not have the votes to see through their civilian disarmament fantasies, but they will gladly use bureaucratic levers of power to destroy Americans’ right to bear arms.
With Chipman leading the ATF, Gun Control Inc. will have a reliable point-man to realize their tyrannical goals.
NAGR sent the following message to gun owners:
David Chipman is Joe Biden’s nominee to head up the ATF, and he is easily the worst person to ever be considered for the role.
Chipman has blood on his hands, and his confirmation needs to be stopped in the U.S. Senate -- more on that below.
But before you read on, please sign your “Stop David Chipman’s Confirmation” Petition now.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.