David Chipman ATF Director, Biden

Unsure whether pro-gun senators will be able to block Biden ATF nominee David Chipman’s confirmation in the upcoming vote in the U.S. Senate, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are taking extraordinary measures. Earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), introduced a resolution to impeach Chipman should the Senate fail to kill his nomination. The measure currently has nearly a dozen Republican co-sponsors.

House Resolution Would Impeach Chipman

“The people of the United States have an unquestioned right to keep and bear arms, enshrined in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in District of Columbia v. Heller,” the resolution reads. “David H. Chipman’s statements and employment history make clear that he does not support and defend the Constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms and intends to use his position as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to violate and abridge the Second Amendment rights of Americans.”

The text of the resolution is, indeed, quite accurate, as Chipman’s recent employment by gun-ban groups and his problematic answers during his Senate confirmation hearing in late May have many Second Amendment supporters frantically scrambling to try to kill his nomination and get President Joe Biden to submit another nominee to the Senate.

Massive Anti-Gun Resume

In his year’s since leaving the ATF, Chipman’s role with Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns was to advise, train and support various other groups that advocate for anti-Second
Amendment polices, including the Brady Campaign, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Joyce Foundation, the Center for American Progress and Americans for Responsible Solutions. More recently, Chipman served as senior policy adviser for the gun-ban group Giffords. That organization believes the courts “wrongly decided” the Heller case and that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Chipman’s unprovoked attack on gun owners, especially those who purchased their first firearm during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, is well-known. At the time, Chipman was voicing his support for some states and cities that had closed gun stores and ranges during the pandemic, and he took the opportunity to make fun of those law-abiding Americans making the decision to defend themselves and their families.

“If you keep it open, there’s the risk of first-time buyers who are largely buying out of fear and panic and untrained,” Chipman said in a newspaper interview. “If we can imagine how horrible this crisis is … the people who hoarded the guns might decide six months from now—once they see no zombies around, but they’ve run out of tuna and beef jerky—that they need the money to buy food.”

The Second, Nor the First

Additionally, in a 2019 interview with the British Broadcasting System (BBC), Chipman proved that he has just as little respect for the First Amendment as he does for the Second, referring to the right to free speech as a “frustration” that should be regulated.

“The frustration is in the United States, the freedom of speech and to say things largely cannot be regulated,” he said, referring to American law enforcement’s inability to confiscate citizens’ firearms based on statements they made that could be considered hateful. “But yes, we have to do more to monitor hate speech on the internet.”

In a prepared statement concerning his resolution, Rep. Rosendale further explained his opposition, leading to the resolution to impeach Chipman.

“The confirmation of David Chipman to the ATF would be a direct threat to the second amendment rights of Americans and the rule of law,” Rosendale said in the statement. “Not only has Chipman previously given false testimony to Congress, but his statements on gun control are evidence that his confirmation would be a failure to support and defend our constitutional rights. If appointed, both are impeachable offenses and worthy of Congress to consider his removal.”

Up Next

Amicus Brief filed with SCOTUS in New York Right-To-Carry Case

The Second Amendment Foundation has filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court,...