David Chipman had compared gun owners to Tiger King preparing for a zombie apocalypse
The White House has withdrawn its nomination of a gun control activist to lead the agency that enforces gun laws.
David Chipman, who has compared gun owners to the Roi Tigre preparing for a zombie apocalypse, was pulled as Joe Biden’s director of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco (ATF) and Firearms following bi-partisan pushback in Congress.
Mr Chipman’s nomination came under intense scrutiny for his work as a senior adviser to lobby group Everytown for Gun Safety, and his outspoken views on gun ownership, following a two-decade career with the ATF.
Plus tôt cette année, he said in an interview that he was most concerned about first-time gun owners who bought firearms during an increase in gun sales over the course of the pandemic lockdowns.
“In their mind, they might be confident, they might think that they’re die-hard, ready to go, but unfortunately they’re more like Tiger King and they’re putting themselves and their families in danger," il a dit Cheddar Nouvelles.
“Secure that gun locked and unloaded, and hide it behind the cans of tuna and beef jerky that you’ve stored in the cabinet and only bring that out if the zombies start to appear. And I don’t think they are.”
The ATF is tasked with investigating and preventing federal crimes and possession of illegal firearms and explosives, including arson, bombings, and the licensing, sale, possession or trafficking of guns, ammunition and explosives.
Mr Chimpan, the second Biden withdrawal following Neera Tanden pulling out of the Office of Management and Budget nomination, comes after a sustained campaign by Second Amendment advocates led by conservative personalities like Donald Trump Jr.
“Dems want to defund the police AND take away your 2nd Amendment right to defend your family — what the hell do they think will happen?!” he said in a tweet.
“This is why stopping anti-2A radical David Chipman from leading a law enforcement agency like the ATF is more important than ever.”
Mr Chimpan’s impending removal from consideration comes after the conservative public campaign to block him was joined privately by Democratic and independent senators including Joe Manchin, Jon Tester and Angus King, selon Le Washington Post, which was first to report the withdrawal.
“We do not have the votes. We will land him in a non-confirmed job in the administration,” one senior administration official told CNN.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been key to supporting many of the Biden administration’s nominees, said he was glad the White House took his advice to pull the “terrible nomination” of Mr Chipman.
“Absurd that a vocal opponent of Americans’ constitutional rights was ever picked to run ATF. This is a win for the Second Amendment and law-abiding American citizens,” Mr McConnell said in a tweeter.
Mr Biden said in a statement on Thursday that the withdrawal was due to the Republican campaign to “use gun crime as a political talking point”, rather than his views on gun control.
“He would have been an exemplary Director of the ATF and would have redoubled its efforts to crack down on illegal firearms traffickers and help keep our communities safe from gun violence,” Mr Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
“We knew this wouldn’t be easy – there’s only been one Senate-confirmed ATF Director in the Bureau’s history – but I have spent my entire career working to combat the scourge of gun violence, and I remain deeply committed to that work," il ajouta.