ATF nominee’s fall is just latest defeat for gun control advocates

ATF nominee's fall is just latest defeat for gun control advocates

President Biden ’s decision to pull David Chipman as his nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is a high-profile victory for pro-gun groups and a defeat for gun control advocates in what will likely be this year’s most consequential gun debate. The withdrawal shows that even under Democratic control of Congress and the White House, efforts to tighten restrictions on guns face an uphill climb. Chipman’s nomination fell not just because of opposition from Republicans, but also moderate Democrats. Biden pulled Chipman’s nomination after Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, privately said he wouldn’t support him. Democrats had no room for defections in the 50-50 Senate, and Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) also declined to endorse Chipman. It’s just the latest defeat for gun control advocates. Senate Democrats earlier this year failed to round up enough votes for a House-passed bill to expand background checks on gun sales, leaving gun control advocates with little to look forward to this Congress. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that Biden will announce a new ATF nominee “at an appropriate time.” But gun control groups reacting to Chipman’s withdrawal weren’t hiding their disappointment. “The Senate had the opportunity to confirm a supremely qualified and dedicated public servant as ATF director. Instead, the gun lobby’s campaign of baseless conspiracy theories and outright lies succeeded in blocking him,” Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler said in a statement. Chipman, a former ATF […]

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