President Joe Biden is expected to nominate David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, firearms and Explosives at an event where he will sign a series of gun control executive orders. Chipman, a former ATF special agent, may come under some fire during the confirmation process due to several questionable remarks he posted on social media site Reddit about the 1993 Waco Siege. He has also called for a ban on the manufacture and sale of assault rifles.
The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross reports the comments were made to bolster his calls for tighter restrictions on “so-called” assault rifles.
In one Reddit post, Chipman wrote: “At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters. Point, it is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often. The victims of drug lords in Mexico are not so lucky. America plays a role in fueling the violence south of the border.”
Ross located a House report on Waco and found that, although members of Branch Davidian shot at three government helicopters and damaged them, “none were shot down, and no federal agents were injured.”
Combing through Chipman’s comments, Ross found one which said he supports a ban on the “future production and sale” of assault rifles. Chipman wrote: “It has been estimated that there are around 15 million assault rifles currently in circulation. I believe we should ban the future production and sale to civilians and afford current owners of these firearms the ability to license these particularly guns with ATF under the National Firearms Act.”
Chipman also wrote, “I believe all gun sales should be limited to licensed gun stores where a background check and paperwork is required.”
One of the most surprising facts about this candidate is that he sometimes carries a gun himself. In one entry, Chipman wrote: “For the general public, seeing a gun out in public is a little frightening. To me, living in fear is a harm that we should avoid. When I carry I make sure it’s concealed. I’m not trying to make some statement.”
Chipman currently serves as an adviser to the gun control organization founded by former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat. Giffords, was shot and very seriously wounded during a 2011 campaign event during which 19 people were injured.
According to CNN, Chipman “has a long history at the agency and sports credentials in gun control advocacy sure to excite firearm safety groups.” He is a “fierce advocate for gun control.”
Politico wrote that it may not be easy to confirm Chipman or any nominee for that matter with a 50-50 Senate. They point out that ever since the ATF Director position became Senate-confirmed, the agency has had “mostly acting directors.” The exception was Todd Jones who was confirmed “in 2013 after a years-long stint as acting director.”