In a setback for gun control advocates, the White House is planning to withdraw the nomination of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The news was first reported by Politico and The Washington Post.
Chipman, a former ATF agent who has become a gun control advocate and now works for the gun violence prevention group Giffords, was picked to helm the nation’s gun regulator by President Joe Biden earlier this year.
He faced fierce opposition from the gun groups like the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Republican lawmakers, who cast him as an extremist who would do away with the Second Amendment.
But it wasn’t only Republicans who opposed Chipman’s nomination. Democrats and independents from rural states, including Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), had concerns with his nomination. Several other Democratic senators, including Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, said they were undecided.
With unanimous GOP opposition and Democratic divisions, Chipman’s nomination languished in the Senate for months. The ATF, the agency that enforces federal gun laws, seems now poised to continue its six-year stretch without a formal director.
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