Giffords David Chipman ATF
Giffords Law Center Senior Policy Advisor David Chipman (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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By now, President Biden’s nominee for ATF Director, David Chipman, is no stranger to scandals. He came under fire for lies he told about the Branch Davidian siege in Waco, Texas. There’s the fact that he’s been a paid lobbyist for Giffords and Everytown, and advocated that FFLs close and not be deemed an “essential business” during COVID lockdown. He’s also been accused of making racist comments about black colleagues during his time at the ATF.

But now Chipman has two more scandals to add to the list.

Chipman allegedly accused a black ATF agent of lying on an assessment used for promotions, something the Department of Justice confirmed, The Reload reported. According to the agent Chipman is said to have accused of wrongdoing, the investigation took two years to complete and he was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

“I couldn’t believe it when it happened,” the agent told The Reload. “But when I read about his other comments, in my mind, I was like ‘that motherf*****.’ That’s what happened. He said, ‘Hey, a lot of African Americans qualified to be promoted on this certification list; they must have been cheating.’ And then he had to go and find one. I happened to be that one.”

He said he believes Chipman’s allegation after the in-person test was motivated by race.

“I believe it had to have been a bias,” the agent, who spent more than 25 years at the agency, said. “My answers were just ‘too good.’ And my thought is he just said, ‘this black guy could not have answered this well if he wasn’t cheating.’”

Chipman’s accusation had a detrimental impact on the agent’s ability to advance his career. He stayed at the ATF after the inspector general’s office cleared him of any wrongdoing, but never moved into upper management.

“It was a long career, and I enjoyed my career,” he said. “It really wasn’t until later in my career that I said, ‘Okay, maybe I’ll look at mid management’ because I had a lot of field and supervisory experience and program management experience. And I love that stuff. I thought, ‘Maybe I can do this until I plan to retire.’

“But that didn’t come to fruition because of Mr. Chipman.”

If that weren’t enough, Chipman reportedly failed to alert the Senate Judiciary Committee to a 2019 talk he gave to the Cadwalader law firm. CNN (of all outlets) discovered the talk titled “Can the Right to Bear Arms Coexist with Gun Control?” during which Chipman took jabs at the “conservative bunch” that he said makes up much of the ATF.

“If you are authentic in this space you are likely to disappoint a lot of people,” Chipman said in his November 2019 event on gun control at the law firm Cadwalader when asked how ATF agents felt about his work. “I think that we have to understand that law enforcement, generally, is a very conservative bunch, primarily of white men. So, the politics of this issue, as it is, sort of permeate it. I don’t believe my views are typical.”

“I think I can answer it that way,” he continued. “I think that, though, when I do connect with law enforcement, I think the progressive peers of mine are at a place where they understand that on the issue of gun violence, we need sticks, which is law enforcement, some people need to be arrested, but we acknowledge too that we need carrots. That community violence intervention programs work and that we need to do both. We need to give people options.”

David Chipman is a terrible nominee to head the ATF, probably the worst nominee since the agency was created. We’ve seen time and again that he’s a gun control zealot who wants to advance his cause, including disarming law-abiding Americans. Not only does he want to make the Second Amendment a thing of the past, but judging from corroborated reports, he’s also a racist who is likely to take aim at black and brown gun owners…not to mention ATF employees.

How many more red flags from Chipman’s past need to to be raised before Democrats and the White House realize his nomination is no longer viable? Or will they continue to turn a blind eye to all of the mis- and wrongdoing, pretend as though Chipman has a stellar service record, and continue to try to ram his nomination through?

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