There is a new twist to David Chipman’s nomination to head the ATF. A dozen House members have signed onto an impeachment resolution even before he’s been confirmed. (Screen snip, YouTube, Sen. Mike Lee)
U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The drama surrounding gun control advocate David Chipman’s nomination to head the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has taken on a new complexion as a dozen members of the U.S. House have signed onto an impeachment resolution to remove Chipman from a job he doesn’t yet have.
According to Fox News, Chipman’s confirmation is not a sure thing because five members of the U.S. Senate—Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), John Hickenlooper (CO), Jon Tester (MT) and Angus King (ME)—reportedly “remain undecided” on Chipman’s nomination. With a 50-50 Senate split, every Democrat would have to vote in the affirmative so Vice President Kamala Harris could cast the tie-breaking vote. If even one or two Democrats jump ship, Chipman’s nomination is toast.
But if Chipman is confirmed, there is still the impeachment resolution to consider. Fox News is reporting that Montana Congressman Matt Rosendale is spearheading the effort. He is reportedly joined by Reps. Bob Good of Virginia, Jeff Duncan and Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Andrew Clyde and Jody Hice from Georgia, Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee, Scott Perry from Pennsylvania, Alex Mooney of West Virginia, Andy Harris from Maryland, and Paul Gosar from Arizona. All are Republicans.
In a statement quoted by Fox News, Rosendale observed, “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. 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.”
AmmoLand News has obtained a copy of the un-numbered resolution. There are two articles in the document: Failure to support and defend the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and Making False Statements to Congress.
The resolution asserts, “In his roles as a paid lobbyist and anti-Second Amendment advocate, David H. Chipman personally advocated, lobbied for, and expressed support for numerous policies which would violate and abridge the Second Amendment rights of Americans to keep and bear arms.”
A few paragraphs later, the resolution quotes former ATF Director Michael Sullivan who “expressed deep concern regarding the nomination of David H. Chipman stating that he ‘has taken such a strong and hostile position against the Second Amendment, as well as gun owners and some of the most popular firearms in the United States.’ Former Director Michael Sullivan further stated that ‘To effectively enforce [gun] laws, you have to be unbiased and apolitical. You can’t be partisan. Dave [Chipman] has shown himself to be a rabid partisan.’”
The three-page resolution probably doesn’t have a chance in the House with Democrats in the majority, but the fact that it was even introduced underscores the degree of discomfort some Republicans have with the Chipman nomination. His selection by Joe Biden—himself a career anti-gunner—seemed like a political reward to the gun control lobby for supporting Biden’s election last year. One of those vocal critics is Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a national grassroots organization that has ripped the nomination since it was announced.
“Chipman’s nomination has the appearance of political patronage to an organization that steadfastly supports the president’s gun control agenda,” Gottlieb said two months ago. “Out of all the potential candidates to lead the agency, Joe Biden has picked the one individual whose nomination was guaranteed to ignite a political firestorm. At this point, it is fair to question why the president has done this. It looks like the president wants to put the gun prohibition lobby in charge of firearms regulation and enforcement.”
Chipman spent 25 years with the ATF before retiring a few years ago. Since then, he has worked with gun prohibition lobbying groups, most recently Giffords as a senior advisor, and before that Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns. That background irreparably taints his nomination in the Second Amendment community and critics have said it would be like having a Republican president nominate the head of the National Rifle Association to take over ATF.
One issue that appears to be plaguing Chipman’s nomination is the allegation he lost his duty weapon. While it remains unverified, and there apparently is no record of such a loss, the question has not been answered to everyone’s satisfaction. Chipman has denied losing his gun.
Another problem is the allegation Chipman once made disparaging remarks about Black ATF agents after several scored high points on an agency test.
There is still no scheduled full Senate consideration of Chipman’s nomination.
About Dave Workman
Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.