Conservative Action Project

June 8, 2021
Washington, DC

Conservatives join with Second Amendment advocates in strongly opposing David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

A former ATF special agent, Chipman currently serves as a senior policy advisor to a pro-gun control lobbying group. He has a long history of misconstruing key details of how firearms work, and has laid out an aggressive anti-gun ownership platform.

Critically, it is unclear whether Chipman fully understands the technical details of firearms and the firearm markets he so eagerly looks to regulate. In 2018, Chipman argued in favor of subjecting all AR-15s and potentially all semi-automatic rifles to regulation under the National Firearms Act – a hugely punitive taxation and regulation measure on the country’s most popular rifle, hugely difficult to implement and police.

In his recent confirmation hearing, Chipman reasserted his support for mass confiscation of semi-automatic rifles – especially troubling considering that, when asked by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to define a semi-automatic assault rifle, his answer would cover every single modern sporting rifle in America today.

Though Chipman walked back the claim in his confirmation hearing, he has previously advocated for arresting prospective gun purchasers in gun stores following a failed background check – regardless of whether or not the prospective purchaser has done anything wrong. This is a highly dubious proposal given a Department of Justice report from 2011, which found the “false positive” denial rate for background checks was roughly 95 percent.

Chipman has also made false claims about both the nature and intent of firearms suppressors, as well as falsely stating in front of Congress that the American gun market is “flooded” with “foreign made ARs.”

David Chipman is a gun control extremist whose views on firearms and the Second Amendment are wildly out of step with constitutional interpretation and widely held social norms. It is clear that Chipman intends to use the position as Director of the ATF to further an aggressive anti-gun agenda, rather than implement the law as written. The Senate must oppose his nomination.

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