The Biden White House is set to withdraw its nomination of David Chipman, who was tapped by Joe Biden to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF).
Chipman, a gun control advocate, will have his nomination revoked after facing bipartisan opposition in the U.S. Senate that would hamper his confirmation.
Senate Republicans staunchly opposed Chipman’s nomination. Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Chipman an “anti-gun extremist,” while moderate Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), implied that Chipman was out of the mainstream.
Some Senate Democrats remained unclear on their stance towards Chipman’s nomination. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Angus King, I-Maine, never explicitly supported or opposed Chipman’s nomination, The Hill reported. Sen. King reportedly expressed concerns to the White House regarding Chipman’s nomination.
Chipman received backlash from Senate Republicans last year after stating during an interview that new gun owners without training should only bring their guns out “if the zombies start to appear.” Chipman since described those remarks as “self-deprecating.”
Chipman is a senior policy advisor to Giffords, a gun control activist group, and has served more than 20 years as an ATF agent. His affiliation with Giffords made it difficult to find support in the U.S. Senate, as he would need 51 Senators to support his nomination. With Chipman facing more opposition than support in a split 50-50 Senate, his confirmation would be unlikely.
The White House’s coming withdrawal of Chipman’s nomination for the ATF marks another major defeat for the Biden administration. Joe Biden withdrew the nomination of Neera Tandan for the Office of Management and Budget earlier this year after her nomination also faced bipartisan opposition.