President Biden to appoint David Chipman, an adviser to the gun control organization founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF , according to two people familiar with the movement.
The appointment of Mr Chipman, a former agent for the ATF – the besieged gun law enforcement agency – comes after a wave of recent mass shootings and weeks of pressure from the Giffords group and other organizations for Mr. Biden to choose a director.
While Mr. Chipman’s selection is good news for gun control groups, few of the candidates proposed by Mr. Biden have faced a higher chance of confirmation in the Senate, although his allies believe that he might be able to get close approval given the angst over the recent massacres. in Boulder, Colorado and Atlanta.
Mr Chipman’s earlier plea for a ban on assault weapons and other restrictions could prevent him from mustering the 51 votes needed for confirmation, and Senate Republicans have succeeded in blocking potential directors of the ATF who were much more in tune with their pro-arms base.
But Mr Biden and his allies believe they have found an ideal candidate in Mr Chipman, a gun owner who has spent 25 years in the office, being part of his SWAT team and working on arms trafficking cases in high-profile fire.
“You know, we’re lucky that, you know, Gabby was shot with a handgun,” Mr Chipman said on a podcast in 2019, discussing the 2011 attack on Ms Giffords in which she received shot in the head and six people. deceased. He added that she would not have survived if she had been shot by an assault rifle.
The appointment is expected to be officially announced on Thursday, along with several other executive steps Mr Biden plans to take to tackle the proliferation of gun violence this year.
The choice “is exactly what ATF needs after six years without a permanent director,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut and supporter of tighter gun regulations.
The position was not easy to fill.
One of the main problems in choosing a director, according to two gun control activists in close contact with the administration, is that potential candidates are reluctant to sign for an appointment that risks being unsuccessful.
Art Acevedo, the former Houston police chief, recently accepted an offer to head the Miami Police Department.
Over the past two decades, Republicans, with the backing of conservative Democrats, have incorporated documentary bans on cavaliers intended to coerce the office, including limits on unannounced inspections of arms dealers, into bills. inventories of armories and a particularly damaging provision which prohibits the agency from digitizing its archives.
In 2006, lawmakers allied with the NRA passed a provision subjecting the post of director of the ATF, which was previously a political appointment, to Senate confirmation.
As a result, only one director, the candidate of Obama B. Todd Jones, has been confirmed in the past 15 years.
Former President Donald J. Trump withdrew the appointment of former senior police union official Chuck Canterbury after the candidate refused to rule out the expansion of background checks and other guarantees entirely.
The appointment was reported earlier by the The Bharat Express News.