Thanks to the efforts of Safari Club International (SCI) and other Second Amendment advocates, sportsmen and women across the country are celebrating the news that the Biden Administration has withdrawn David Chipman’s nomination to serve as the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Despite attempts from the White House and pro-gun control Democratic Senators to salvage his confirmation, and despite the lingering threat of the White House placing David Chipman in an appointee slot not requiring Senate confirmation, SCI’s advocacy efforts were executed in lockstep with members of the hunting community. SCI members can say unabashedly that they helped prevent the new administration from further pursuing its dangerous anti-gun agenda.
Throughout the confirmation process, Chipman struggled to gain support from moderate Democrats due to his support for extremist gun-control policies. Even Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) expressed early concern towards his nomination and admitted that “there are a lot of issues” with President Biden’s pick to oversee federal firearm regulations.
Chipman’s support for banning the most popular rifle in the U.S. was a direct assault on law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment rights and the ability of Americans to hunt. Sales of firearms and ammunition, from hunting and shooting sports alike, directly fund state wildlife agencies through the Pittman-Robertson Act. Chipman’s gun control schemes would have severely endangered the funding stream of state wildlife agencies dedicated to habitat conservation, law enforcement, hunter safety programs, and other wildlife-related projects.
Furthermore, Chipman’s bitter and unwarranted 2017 testimony against the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act further disqualified his nomination in the eyes of America’s sporting community, as this legislation was a bipartisan bill that did nothing more than remove government roadblocks to hunting and fishing access on public lands.
SCI joins Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans in the belief that the next ATF director should reflect good character and effectiveness as a leader. Chipman’s alleged racially insensitive comments and behavior towards colleagues during his previous role at ATF does not embody either of these values. SCI commends Republican Congressional leaders for helping to ensure the ATF remains a law enforcement agency with an apolitical, fair, and credible reputation.
SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin stated, “For the sake of the hunting community, wildlife and habitat conservation, and ATF employees, we support the decision to remove David Chipman from consideration to be the next ATF Director. Chipman posed an imminent threat to the Second Amendment, a threat that would have had negative effects on the sustainability of our wildlife and habitats. SCI is proud of our members, along with Second Amendment advocates across the country, for their continued defense of our constitutional rights and advocacy for leadership that reflects American values.”