The GOP has made no mystery of its opposition to comprehensive gun control. But if Republican lawmakers have their way, they’ll even hold up the person who’s supposed to oversee firearms regulations: David Chipman, President Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Chipman—a longtime advocate for gun control at groups like Giffords and Everytown for Gun Safety—was nominated last week to run the ATF, where Chipman himself spent his career as an agent. If confirmed by the Senate, Chipman would be the first full-time director at the agency since 2015. He would also be the ATF director with the most ardently pro-gun control background.
Congressional Democrats are resigned to the reality that they can’t make new gun control laws. But they do believe bringing in someone like Chipman to enforce existing regulations could help tamp down America’s gun problems, which have been clearer than ever after a string of recent mass shootings, like the ones in Boulder, Colorado; Orange, California; Allen, Texas; and Rock Hill, South Carolina (all of which have happened in the past month).