Biden to Tap Gun Control Advocate as A.T.F. Director

Biden to Tap Gun Control Advocate as A.T.F. Director

2021-04-08 01:31:14

President Biden will nominate David Chipman, an adviser to the arms control organization founded by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, to nominate the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or A.T.F. to lead, according to two people with knowledge of the move.

The appointment of Mr. Chipman, a former agent at the A.T.F. The belligerent agency charged with enforcing firearms laws comes after a wave of recent mass shootings and weeks of pressure from the Giffords group and other organizations to get Mr. Biden to elect a director.

While Mr. Chipman's selection came as welcome news to gun control groups, few nominees nominated by Mr. Biden have faced a greater chance of confirmation in the Senate, though his allies believe he may be able to get narrow-minded approval given the fear. about recent massacres. in Boulder, Colo. and Atlanta.

Mr. Chipman & # 39; s previous advocacy of a ban on assault weapons and other restrictions could make it difficult for him to muster the 51 votes needed for confirmation, and Senate Republicans have successfully identified potential A.T.F. directors who were much more aligned with their pro-gun base.

But Mr. Biden and his allies think they've found an ideal candidate in Mr. Chipman, a gun owner who spent 25 years at the agency, was part of the SWAT team, and worked on high-profile arms trafficking cases.

"You know, we are lucky that, you know, Gabby was shot with a gun," said Mr. Chipman. on a podcast in 2019, discussing the 2011 attack on Ms. Giffords, in which she was shot in the head and six people died. He added that she would not have survived if she had been shot with an assault rifle.

The nomination is expected to be officially announced Thursday, along with several other executive actions Mr. Biden plans to take to address the proliferation of gun violence this year.

The choice “is exactly what A.T.F. needs after six years without a permanent director, ”said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, and an advocate of tougher gun regulation.

The mail was not easy to fill out.

One of the biggest problems in choosing a director, according to two gun control activists who are in close contact with the government, is that potential candidates are reluctant to apply for a nomination that is likely to suffer defeat.

Art Acevedo, the former Houston Police Chief, recently accepted an offer to lead the Miami Police Department.

Over the past two decades, Republicans, with the backing of Conservative Democrats, have embedded themselves in riders with spending accounts intended to limit the agencyincluding restrictions on unannounced inspections of arms dealers, bans on documenting gun store inventories, and a particularly damaging provision preventing the agency from digitizing its data.

In 2006, N.R.A. affiliated lawmakers enacted a provision restricting the position of A.T.F. director, who had previously been a political appointment, subject to confirmation by the Senate.

As a result, only one director, Obama nominee B. Todd Jones, has been confirmed in the past 15 years.

Former President Donald J. Trump withdrew the appointment of a former top police union official, Chuck Canterbury, after the nominee declined completely rule out the extension of background checks and other safeguards.

The appointment was previously reported by The Associated Press.


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