President Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is in hot water as the White House has yet to say if the administration is confident he will be confirmed.
David Chipman, Biden’s pick to lead the ATF, has been in the hot seat throughout his Senate confirmation process as a slew of lawmakers and organizations have come out in opposition to his nomination.
On Wednesday, the firearms industry group National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced that for the first time in its 60-year history, the organization is launching a TV ad targeting Chipman, asserting that Chipman wants to “ban guns.” NSSF leaders told Fox News they envision a political purpose lurking behind Biden’s choice of Chipman, who previously worked for former Rep. Gabby Giffords’ gun control organization.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has not said if the administration is confident Chipman will make it through his confirmation process, saying in April the decision is “up to the Senate.”
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“The president gets to pick who he wants to nominate,” Psaki added.
The White House did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment on if the administration is confident Chipman will be confirmed.
Chipman’s confirmation vote made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee split down party lines, but his full Senate confirmation vote is less certain.
The president’s nominee has come under fire from current and former members of the ATF as well as Senate Republicans, who have warned about his previous comments on guns, gun laws and gun owners. Chipman has signaled his support for banning assault weapons and ending liability protections for gun manufacturers, as well as increasing inspections of federally licensed gun dealers.
Former ATF Director Michael Sullivan, as well as a current ATF member involved in training and a retired ATF deputy director who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, expressed concern that Biden’s nominee is too political to lead an unbiased agency.
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“I am concerned that somebody who has taken such a strong and hostile position against the Second Amendment, as well as gun owners and some of the most popular firearms in the United States, would be viewed as a political leader for an agency that, I think, has worked extremely hard to build the American public confidence in its handling of interpreting both the Gun Control Act and the various regulations around it,” Sullivan told Fox News.
There is a very real chance that Chipman’s confirmation comes down to the votes of a handful of Democratic senators, such as John Tester of Montana.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin and David Spunt contributed to this report.