ATF Hasn’t Had A Confirmed Leader In Years. Now Biden’s Nominee Is Languishing

ATF Hasn't Had A Confirmed Leader In Years. Now Biden's Nominee Is Languishing

President Biden named David Chipman, seen here in 2019, as his nominee to lead ATF back in early April. The key agency that enforces federal gun laws seems poised to continue its six-year stretch without a formal director, as the chances of President Biden’s nominee gaining Senate confirmation appear to be dwindling in the face of firm Republican opposition and a few holdouts in the chamber’s Democratic caucus. Biden’s nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, David Chipman, remains languishing more than four months after he was tapped . Chipman is a 25-year veteran of the agency-turned-policy expert and advocate at the gun safety organization Giffords. During his quarter-century at ATF — which regulates and enforces laws regarding firearms — Chipman worked as a special agent in the field and later in a supervisory role. He also responded to two high-profile terror incidents in the 1990s. His advocacy work in the years since has earned him strong accolades from the gun safety community. And while Biden had hoped that Chipman’s credentials at the ATF would help bring the agency out of its years-long director-less slump, the powerful gun lobby and GOP opponents — along with some Democrats — have stalled his nomination, highlighting the deeply political debate that’s surrounded the agency over the past 15 years. “It is nearly impossible to get confirmed leadership,” said Christian Heyne, vice president of policy at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “We have allowed the very industry […]

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