David Chipman nomination for ATF to be withdrawn in another major defeat for Biden admin

In a major victory for gun rights activists, the White House will reportedly withdraw the nomination of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Politico reported Thursday that Chipman, a former ATF agent and current senior policy adviser to the gun control advocacy group Giffords, had lost the support of several moderate Democrats in the Senate, which doomed his confirmation. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) told the White House in August that he would not support Chipman's confirmation, and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) were also unwilling to back him.

Senate Republicans were unanimously opposed to Chipman's confirmation, citing his extreme anti-gun record, misleading statements, and disturbing allegations that he made derogatory comments about black ATF agents during his time with the agency.

During his Senate confirmation hearing, Chipman sent up red flags for Republican senators and Second Amendment advocates with his evasive answers to the question, "What is an assault weapon?" His repeated attempts to dodge the question and his final answer that an "assault weapon" is "any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22" caused concern that as the director of ATF, he would instruct the agency to increase regulations on rifles commonly used for sporting or self-defense.

Other disturbing details about Chipman's record emerged thanks to the work of the American Accountability Foundation, a non-profit government watchdog group that focuses on executive branch personnel. In May, AAF filed Freedom of Information Act requests for records related to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints filed against Chipman during his 15-year tenure at ATF.

The Daily Caller reported the records were related to an incident in 2007 in which Chipman allegedly made a derogatory comment about black ATF agents performing too well on a selection exam.

In June, AAF sued to get records related to allegations that Chipman made racist remarks to colleagues. https://t.co/38swP6P0WV

— BidenNoms, A Project of AAF (@bidennoms) 1631192806.0

AAF also unearthed an incident reported by the Federalist regarding a time when Chipman allegedly lost his service weapon after storing it in his vehicle, against ATF employee regulations. Chipman denied the allegations in written Senate testimony and ATF said there was no record of Chipman's weapons being lost or stolen.

After refusing to turn over his employee files, AAF sued to make his history public. https://t.co/Mio5e3RHms

— BidenNoms, A Project of AAF (@bidennoms) 1631192807.0

Tom Jones, president of the American Accountability Foundation, praised the news that Chipman's nomination will be withdrawn.

"The mainstream media will act like David Chipman's nomination was pulled solely because of his gun control advocacy. The reality is the Biden Administration nominated an ethically deficient individual with charges of racism and losing his service weapon to head the agency Biden would use to implement their gun control agenda," said Jones.

"The Biden Administration showed they will ignore ethical disqualifications to fulfill their radical agenda. Fortunately, commonsense prevailed in the Senate today but we must remain vigilant after the Biden Administration showed they care nothing for ethical standards," he added.

It is unknown when the White House will officially withdraw the nomination, but according to Politico it could happen as soon as this week.

Chipman is the second major Biden administration nominee to be withdrawn, following the defeat of Neera Tanden's nomination to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Joe Biden's nominee to head ATF suggests 'assault weapons' ban would cover much more than AR-15s

President Joe Biden's radically pro-gun control nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives confirmed Wednesday, when pressed by Republican senators, that he supports a ban on a wide range of so-called "assault-style weapons," which include more rifles than just an AR-15.

David Chipman, a longtime gun control lobbyist with more than two decades experience working for ATF, faced questions from several Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans on his views on guns, admitting to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that he supports a ban on AR-15 rifles and would enforce such a ban if Congress were to legislate one.

"Mr. Chipman, a minute ago Sen. Whitehouse asked you if any of your views on guns are out of step with a majority of the American people. The AR-15 is one of, if not the most popular rifle in America. It's not a machine gun, it's a rifle. Your public position is that you want to ban AR-15s, is that correct?" Cruz asked.

"With respect to the AR-15, I support a ban," Chipman answered. "The AR-15 is a gun I was issued on ATF's S.W.A.T team and it's a particularly lethal weapon and regulating it as other particularly lethal weapons, I have advocated for."

WATCH: Sen. Ted Cruz gets Joe Biden’s ATF Director nominee David Chipman to admit that he wants to BAN the AR-15, t… https://t.co/uJEXYyAe4P

— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) 1622045403.0

Chipman works as a senior policy adviser at Giffords, a gun control advocacy group let by former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was severely injured in a shooting attack in 2011. In that capacity, he has advocated for limits on high-capacity magazines and a federal assault weapons ban.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and others pressed Chipman to define the term "assault weapons," which some gun control proponents with limited knowledge of firearms have come to use as a catch-all phrase to describe guns they don't like.

Cotton wanted specifics, asking, "What is an assault weapon?"

"Senator, an assault weapon would be — in the context of the question you asked — what Congress defines it as," Chipman answered in an attempt to dodge the question.

"So you're asking us to ban assault weapons, we have to write legislation, can you tell me what is an assault weapon? How would you define it if you were the head of the ATF?" Cotton pressed.

Senator @TomCottonAR asks Biden's ATF nominee David Chipman to define an "assault weapon":"Any semi-automatic rif… https://t.co/LeXDkUYrAQ

— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) 1622047832.0

Chipman eventually cited the ATF to define an assault rifle as "any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22."

"I"m amazed that might be the definition of an assault weapon," Cotton said. "That would basically cover every single modern sporting rifle in America today."