David Chipman
Courtesy CCTV News
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By Larry Keane

President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), David Chipman, has become embroiled in yet another controversy. The Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is digging for answers. Chipman’s Democratic defenders, though, are suspiciously quiet. He’s a forgotten man hung out to dry like Sunday’s laundry.

If Chipman’s confirmation wasn’t already on rocky ground, new revelations did the gun control lobbyist no favors. It may be only a matter of time before Chipman’s nomination is withdrawn, as U.S. Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Angus King (I-Maine) have suggested.

One thing’s certain – the more time that passes with no movement from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Chipman’s confirmation floor vote, the less likely he’ll win confirmation. The clock’s ticking.

Racist Allegations

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman and Majority Whip, the chief senate Democrat vote counter, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) painted a bleak picture for Chipman’s confirmation when he let slide the ATF nominee had “a lot of issues.” At that time, those “issues” included a troubling nomination hearing in which he couldn’t define what an “assault weapon” was even though he wanted them banned, his past work as a paid gun control lobbyist and his many statements demonstrating his contempt for first-time gun owners. In politics, a couple weeks is a lifetime and Chipman’s getting old.

The Reload then brought to light corroborated reports that while an ATF agent, Chipman made racially disparaging remarks about his African-American colleagues. One current ATF agent stated, “He made some comments that he was surprised by the number of African Americans who have made it onto a specific promotional list. So, his insinuation was that they had to have cheated. Which is kind of despicable.”

Another agent said the racist remarks led to Chipman’s reassignment from the Detroit ATF office. “He left Detroit because of that,” the agent told The Reload. That reporting led to the 11 Judiciary Committee Republicans, led by ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), signing a letter demanding a follow-up hearing. Sen. Durbin refused.

In follow up reporting, an African-American ATF agent with more than 25 years’ experience says he himself was the target of Chipman’s racism. “I believe it had to have been a bias,” the agent said. “My answers were just ‘too good.’ And my thought is he just said, ‘this black guy could not have answered this well if he wasn’t cheating.’”

It has also come to light that Chipman failed to disclose both his appearance on a state-run Communist Chinese propaganda television show praising gun control and several prior speaking events where he discussed the politics of fellow agents at the ATF. The Senate wrapped up work earlier this week before departing Washington, D.C., for the August and September recess. They still didn’t vote on Chipman’s nomination and that’s not a good sign. His prospects have dimmed even further.

Gun Control Hubris

The nomination of David Chipman to lead the ATF fits President Joe Biden’s modus operandi. The president’s claims of being a “unifier” and bringing back “bipartisanship” flew out the window as he ran on a campaign to dismantle the firearm industry. He deemed it the enemy.”

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Merrick Garland
President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Nominating Chipman to lead the agency charged with implementing and enforcing gun laws was the president’s opening shot to use the ATF as a cudgel to destroy the firearm industry. Reporting by The Federalist ranks Chipman as the second-most radical presidential nominee of President Biden’s tenure, noting, “Chipman’s scorn for gun-owning Americans runs deep,” among other things.

Gun control groups have noticed the Chipman stall-out and are growing antsy. Politico reported gun control activists are “going public with their long-simmering private frustrations, saying President Joe Biden could have done more.”

Fred Guttenberg, the outspoken gun control activist whose daughter Jaime was murdered during the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy in Parkland, Fla., has grown agitated. “The confirmation of David Chipman to be the ATF director … matters as much as everything else that they are working on…” Guttenberg has his own problems with the truth about the ATF.

While President Biden and Senate Democrats come to terms that their man is damaged, the firearm industry is keeping up the pressure. Americans are acting too, buying firearms in record numbers in 2020 and are keeping pace this year as well.

Public polling shows Americans aren’t interested in Chipman leading the ATF and they aren’t interested in more gun control. If the president and Senate Democrats refuse to listen, voters may make it clear they aren’t interested in returning them to office either.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.


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  1. Nominees stalled, Kabul about to fall, increasing COVID cases, threats of lockdown, Congress in disarray, an absent VP, a dementia-riddled President, etc., etc., etc.

    Chaos. Uncertainty. Incompetence.

    I love it.

    • I don’t love it. I want to see this country prosper without regard for who is holding the steering wheel.

      That said, I am glad to see this nominee floundering.

      • You know Hasaf, I’ve said that same thing before. But you know what? Even though this election was partially stolen, I know plenty of stupid fucks who either voted For Biden or Against Orange Man Bad, even after we all tried to tell them ad nauseum how fucked it would be. So frankly, I do like it. I hope the whole goddamn country crashes at this point, so we can fix some shit.

        • “so 𝙒𝙚 can fix some shit.”

          𝙒𝙚? 𝙒𝙚 always think 𝙒𝙚 will be the fixers. Are 𝙒𝙚 sure before the crash and burn?

          Asking for a French friend..

        • If you see the nation as being in need of fixing, what’s stopping you from fixing it now? Why would a crash be necessary?

        • DAVE and AXE
          Yes, I do mean WE. As in We the People. I can survive with mine, unless we are specifically Waco’d, but there’s not enough of us to bother with and we aren’t a word cult. Just some country bumpkins with degrees. But to prosper, it takes a nation, it takes The People. Dave, I can’t pull 150 million people up anywhere, and it is not feasible I could ever make it above a locally elected office to affect change, even if I wouldn’t get devoured by the Swamp Critters. I do try to be the change I want in the world, but I’m not a fool. The system is too big and the power mongers are too many and have been unchecked for so long, it’s going to take a massive collapse for people to either actually wake up or become desperate enough to actually try something new. It won’t HAVE to be Orange Man next time. But that loud mouth was just what the country actually needed, look at how much was improved versus what wasn’t. And that’s all I can to write at 0629.

      • In times of uncertainty, people become more conservative and realize they need to take care of themselves because no one else will. That’s always a good thing.

        • No, Jimmy, unfortunately it’s not. Unfortunately, the reality is that a lot of voters just vote for whoever promises them the most free shit.

          Sorry, but that is a fact that “we” have to deal with. I have my own theories, but they tend to end with people calling me a “heartless Darwinist”. Umm . . . yeah. Guilty as charged. We can DENY that Darwin was right, but . . . he was pretty much right. Read C.M. Kornbluth’s “The Marching Morons”. This is where we are.

        • Rather like those who voted for the guy who told them they’d get a free border wall, because Mexico would pay for it.

      • Without regard to who is holding the steering wheel?

        WE SHOULD BE.

        Right now it’s an ineffective conglomerate of disparate extremists all trying to steer the country into the ditch for a paycheck from China. It’s taken this to even get our attention to the problem: It’s OUR country, not their’s, they are the paid SERVANTS of our will, and we are letting them get away with it.

        When the house staff start telling the homeowner when or if they will clean, cook, or make the beds, it’s time to fire them. When they are stealing from us, it’s time to call the cops.

        When they are in league with dirty cops who won’t enforce the law, it’s time to remove them, too.

        Chipman is toast as far a a nomination is concerned, Congress is off the clock right now and waiting until September will only increase the public’s resentment and outrage over other issues – like, needed a vaccination passport to travel by air?

        Even that campaign is failing, the DOD who was leading the charge now has to admit that exemptions are more than allowed, they can’t deny them. Another administrative defeat in the face of serious pushback from the troops. When senior leaders tell the SecDef they can’t mandate it, and they have to back down, it’s another sign this Administration will be short lived.

        Much of the current ado in the news is precisely to cover up the situation that there is serious grounds to prosecute illegal manipulation of the past election – and just one, 1, proven instance is more than enough to throw the bums out. Goes to Homeland even stating that the newest terrorist threat is who? Citizens who don’t support the results of the election.

        So, the homeowner comes in the door and find the housekeeper has let a total stranger in who now resides there, is using the house, sleeping in his bed, and doing as he pleases, while they show the legal titleholder to the door and state to the crooked cops that HE’S the intruder now?

        But we don’t care who’s at the wheel as long as they steer the country in the right direction?

        Are you even paying attention?

      • It used to be that way, before we made the executive branch the be-all-end-all and decided we wanted an elected group of despots to manage every facet of our lives. Now we get what we vote for, good and hard.

    • Don’t forget about the open southern border in my home state. That’s another log on the already blazing Biden fire…

    • I have watched that at least 20 times and I still die laughing every time. He couldn’t find the door with an agent pointing to it.

      Before it’s over he’s going to be wandering around at 2 AM in a bathrobe. And some poor SS agent will have to be there wandering with him.

      • “I have watched that at least 20 times and I still die laughing every time. He couldn’t find the door with an agent pointing to it.”

        Someone is guilty of elder abuse.

  2. I reckon Imma take your guns if I get that nomination. Mmmm mmmm. He looks like Carl Childers. The butcher of Waco, Chipman, belongs in a Supermax!

    • Supermax, no.
      The Gallows for all his Comrades to see what is next for them, for denying our God-given Rights.

    • Inside each and every Gun Control zealot is a racist and nazi starved for Gun Control. When their inner demons cannot be fed the host zealot gets the azzaches. Temporary relief is scooting their bottoms across the floor.

    • “Stalls
      In flames lol”

      The flames don’t usually happen until after the spin and *splat*… 🙁

    • No worse than “They intend to block a permanent ATF Director.”

      Not at all, nominate Dana Loesch, or Colion Noir for example to head the ATF, you will likely receive a huge amount of support from the 2A community.

      Double dog dare ya!

      • Fred Guttenberg wants to be Chipman’s chief interrogator so he can satisfy his lust for vengeance on those recalcitrant gun owners. If he has the job, watch for a massive increase of “deaths in custody”. Especially from 9mm brain hemorrhages.

  3. In his defense his terrible behavior could be explained away as any other typical Democrat behavior such as general arrogance in thinking he’s better/smarter than everyone else and the sort of low-expectatiins soft-racism they all have like being impressed by Barack Obama’s ability to speak coherently.

    Historically neither of these have been detriments to Democrats and within their own circles are attributes to be lauded. Only out in the real world where regular people live could they be so negatively construed.

  4. Imagine if someone was going to be head of something like the CDC…and did not believe in the germ theory of diseases.
    Yeah…it’s something like THAT!!
    This guys works for an ANTI-GUN organization…they and he have an agenda…and it is not even hidden.

  5. Question: Why do Republican presidents never try to appoint a CONSERVATIVE director of the ATF?

    They may half-heartedly fight new gun control laws, but they sure as heck don’t do much to roll them back.

    Laws that are passed tend to stay (like a gun control ratchet from h**l), and the Republicans are complicit in letting them stay. This two party system just plain sucks!

    • Many people are saying that President Biden is almost as enfeebled and senile as I am, believe me!

      • We see you, nameless troll, and we see your bullshit. Is it your position that you believe that Joe Biden is more competent mentally than was Donald Trump?? If so, please make your point directly and publicly, and we will react to your point.

        Your attempts at sarcasm are . . . lame, at best.

        • …and your attempts to police this forum provide endless unintentional hilarity, believe me. Keep it up, ya badass 🖕👋.

        • Let’s just talk about how Biden TOTALLY messed up on Afghanistan! He has emboldened the Taliban.
          There’s grave questions about Bidens ability to lead our nation as commander-in-chief. To have read this so wrong – or, even worse, to have understood what was likely to happen in Afghanistan and not care.

      • “Many people are saying that President Biden is almost as enfeebled and senile as I am, believe me!”

        “Many people are saying that President Biden is almost as enfeebled and senile as I am, believe me! Bigly.’

  6. @MLee
    “Let’s just talk about how Biden TOTALLY messed up on Afghanistan! ”

    Not actually. If Trump had been re-elected, the same result would have developed. In fact, this end game was inevitable from 2001. We had no plan after the first attacks. We had no plan thereafter. Just about every government agency was involved in “nation-building” in Afghanistan, all with competing priorities, and no central organization. America keeps acting as if all the peoples are little Americans inside, aching to be free to become Jeffersonian/Madisonian democrats. And all that with no experience at all with self-governance. Final victory, and success were always just a few years and a few more trillions of dollars away. Politicians got votes, contractors got contracts (with no coordination between them, or coordination between the contracting agents), and the military got budget dollars and promotions. The only positive claim we really have is that it took longer to chase the US out than it did the Russians.

    • It’s what President Biden has done is to embrace the Afghan policy of President Trump, and this is the outcome.

      After Trump signed off on a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban in February 2020 that excluded the Afghan government, on April 13 Biden announced his administration would withdraw U.S. troops from the Central Asian country by Sept. 11

      Since Biden announced the U.S. withdrawal in April, Taliban insurgents have overrun much of the country, taking control of key border crossings and most provincial capitals. As of Saturday, the Taliban controlled roughly two-thirds of Afghanistan’s territory.

      I’m not blaming it all on Biden, but the writing was on the wall and he ignored it.

      • “I’m not blaming it all on Biden, but the writing was on the wall and he ignored it.”

        The writing was on the wall 30April1975; not updated since.

  7. “He left Detroit because of that,”

    -and that is why he wouldn’t allow the Senate to see his ATF personnel records.
    How hard is it to say “we don’t hire federal employees without looking at their prior federal employment histories” and summarily reject his nomination?

    • “…and summarily reject his nomination?”

      The nomination has already been rejected by the people demanding answers. The continuing drill down is political theater to delay the vote, develop Repub campaign talking points for the 2022 elections.

      Hope it works.

    • Or worse… YOU’RE not looking at his records and we’re not going to have any more hearings, even if someone discovered pubic hair on their Coke.

  8. He’s a Putin puppet for Buck Fiden!

  9. The Left: Truth is defined as “Tactics.”
    That alone tells me everything O need to know.

  10. Every time I see a photo of Chipman, I am reminded of what a media talking head said on the air about pro-life, elder-harassed Nick Sandman in January 2019: something about how “punchable” Nick’s face was.

  11. Every time I see a photo of Chipman, I’m reminded of what a media pundit stated on the radio in January 2019 about pro-life, elder-harassed Nick Sandman: something about how “punchable” Nick’s face looked.

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