House Republicans urge Senate to oppose Biden ATF director nominee

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EXCLUSIVE: Dozens of House Republicans are urging the Senate to oppose President Biden’s nomination of David Chipman as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), calling him an “enemy of the 2nd Amendment” and saying his confirmation would “jeopardize” the constitutional rights of gun owners.

Biden last month nominated Chipman, a former federal agent and adviser at the gun control group Giffords, to be director of ATF.

Fox News obtained a letter House Republican Study Committee Chair Jim Banks, R-Ind., and 68 other House GOP members penned to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. R-Ky., on Monday.

BIDEN ATF PICK ALARMS GUN RIGHTS GROUPS

In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, Giffords Law Center senior policy adviser David Chipman speaks at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on assault weapons on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, Giffords Law Center senior policy adviser David Chipman speaks at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on assault weapons on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
(AP)

In the letter, the GOP members described Chipman as a “long time gun control activist and lobbyist.”

“His beliefs and hostile attitude toward the rights of gun owners are well known,” the wrote. “Thus, we respectfully ask that you oppose his confirmation.”

Republicans cited Chipman’s record, saying that in October 2018 he argued in favor of subjecting all AR-15s and potentially all semi-automatic rifles to regulation under the National Firearms Act.

“As a former agent of the ATF, Chipman knows all too well that such action would effectively ban the most popular rifle in America as well as most other items regulated under the National Firearms Act,” they wrote.

Republicans argued that Chipman’s confirmation would “threaten the landscape of firearm ownership for generations of Americans to come.”

BIDEN ATF NOMINEE MADE QUESTIONABLE STATEMENTS ABOUT SUPPRESSORS, AUTOMATIC WEAPONS

“If confirmed, David Chipman would use every tool at his disposal to attack American gun owners and we respectfully ask you to oppose any and all action that would advance his confirmation in the Senate,” they wrote.

Gun control advocates, though, have praised Chipman’s nomination.

At Giffords, Chipman spent considerable effort pushing for greater regulation and enforcement on ghost guns, changes to the background check system and measures to reduce the trafficking of illegal firearms.

Chipman spent 25 years as an agent at the ATF. During his career, he worked on stopping a trafficking ring that sent illegal firearms from Virginia to New York and served on the ATF’s SWAT team.

Chipman is a gun owner, according to The Associated Press.

The ATF is a law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice that strives to safeguard the public from criminal organizations and activity, including the illegal use and trafficking of firearms.

Biden nominated Chipman last month – the same day he rolled out a set of executive orders on gun control.

BIDEN ANNOUNCES SLATE OF GUN CONTROL ACTIONS, CLAIMS ‘PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS’

Biden asked that the Justice Department, within a month, propose a rule to stop “ghost guns,” which are “kits” people can buy legally then fully assemble to create a functioning firearm that does not have a serial number.

Biden also asked the DOJ within 60 days to propose a rule on braces used for handguns, which make them more accurate; proposing action on “community violence intervention”; asking the DOJ to publish suggestions for “red flag” legislation; and having his administration issue a report on gun trafficking.

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The White House said Chipman will respect the Second Amendment while he enforces gun laws.

The president has said he supports an assault weapons ban, voluntary buybacks of assault weapons, wants to repeal a law that prevents gun manufacturers from being sued for crimes people commit with guns and much more.

Fox News’ Audrey Conklin, Stephanie Pagones and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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