Gun control advocate David Chipman will not lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, The Washington Post reported Thursday. President Joe Biden pulled Chipman’s nomination after Senate Republicans and some moderate Democrats expressed opposition to the choice. “Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress have made clear that they intend to use gun crime as a political talking point instead of taking serious steps to address it,” Biden said in a statement Thursday announcing the move.
Chipman worked at the ATF for decades before joining Gabrielle Giffords’ gun-control group Americans for Responsible Solutions. Chipman’s nomination could not clear the Senate Judiciary Committee, which deadlocked on a vote for him. “I knew this confirmation process would be difficult, and while ultimately we weren’t successful, it remains essential that ATF is led by a confirmed Director who is accountable to the public and places no special interests before the safety of our children and our communities,” Chipman said in a statement.
The move is a setback for a White House that has mostly had its nominees approved. Progressive Neena Tanden, Biden’s first choice for the Office of Management and Budget, had her nomination withdrawn over mean tweets she’s previously written to senators.