OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion
President Joe Biden has withdrawn a highly contentious nominee from Senate consideration to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after he lost support from too many Democrats in the evenly divided upper chamber.
Earlier this summer, Biden nominated David Chipman, himself a former ATF agent who quickly became a lightning rod for the White House over past comments including his support for banning so-called “assault weapons” including AR-15 rifles, among the most popular in the country.
But his nomination quickly became mired in controversy, putting the White House on the defensive and at risk of suffering a defeat in the evenly divided Senate.
What sank Chipman’s nomination was a pledge by at least three Democrats to vote against his nomination, the latest being Sen. Angus King, a Maine Independent who generally caucuses with the party. Earlier, Democratic Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia had said they won’t support Chipman, and with no Republicans signing on, the White House’s position on the nominee became untenable.
“The Senate had the opportunity to confirm a supremely qualified and dedicated public servant as ATF director. Instead, the gun lobby’s campaign of baseless conspiracy theories and outright lies succeeded in blocking him,” said Peter Ambler, the executive director of gun control group Giffords, named after former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, an Arizona Democrat who was shot and nearly killed by a gunman during a political event in Tucson in January 2011.
Chipman is still a paid adviser at the organization, The Hill reported.
Gun rights groups, however, were quick to laud his failed nomination and worked to defeat him, as the outlet noted:
Pro-gun groups led an expensive lobbying campaign against Chipman, warning centrist senators that his confirmation would politicize the agency and prompt Republicans to respond by nominating a gun industry lobbyist for the ATF post in the future.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) aired a multimillion-dollar ad campaign in the home states of King, Manchin and Tester urging them to oppose Chipman. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the gun industry’s trade group, held a virtual fly-in to shore up opposition from centrist senators.
“This critical win is thanks to NRA members who flooded their senators’ offices with texts, emails, letters and phone calls voicing their opposition to Chipman’s nomination,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, in a statement.
Chipman’s nomination was also opposed by a bevy of other organizations that don’t normally get involved in political fights, which sends a signal to the Biden White House about its broader gun control agenda, The Hill noted.
The National Sheriffs’ Association is one such group, but it came out and publicly opposed Chipman’s nomination, lamenting his gun-control activism.
Also, several hunting groups sent a letter to Congress voicing concern that the nominee would “take proactive steps to impede gun ownership, hunting and recreational shooting in a manner that detrimentally impacts wildlife conservation and management.”
“There was opposition not just from Second Amendment organizations and members of the industry, but also many conservation and hunting groups,” Larry Keane, the lead lobbyist at NSSF, said, according to The Hill. “Normally, they would not weigh in on an ATF nominee. I think that was very impactful for Manchin and King.”
Biden was not happy with the fact that he had to pull the nomination and expressed his frustration.
“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,”
But Republican House Minority Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell celebrated the decision to rescind his nomination.
“Glad to hear reports the White House is taking my advice and pulling the terrible nomination of David Chipman,” he said.
Glad to hear reports the White House is taking my advice and pulling the terrible nomination of David Chipman. Absurd that a vocal opponent of Americans’ constitutional rights was ever picked to run ATF. This is a win for the Second Amendment and law-abiding American citizens.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) September 9, 2021
“Absurd that a vocal opponent of Americans’ constitutional rights was ever picked to run ATF. This is a win for the Second Amendment and law-abiding American citizens,” he said.
Article Source : Conservativebrief.com