President Biden has officially withdrawn David Chipman as his nominee for Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Upon his nomination, Chipman quickly became a controversial figure due to his anti-Second Amendment activism and work with gun control groups. It appears as though the bipartisan pushback and suspected lack of votes caused the President to withdraw the nomination.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell lauded the decision:
Glad to hear reports the White House is taking my advice and pulling the terrible nomination of David Chipman. Absurd that a vocal opponent of Americans' constitutional rights was ever picked to run ATF. This is a win for the Second Amendment and law-abiding American citizens.— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) September 9, 2021
Senators that were uncertain about the nominee include Senator Angus King (I-Maine), Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), and Jon Tester (D-Montana). Politico commented on the fact that this is not the first Biden nominee to receive resistance from Democrats:
Chipman isn’t the only high profile White House nominee to be withdrawn amid opposition from members of the Democratic caucus. Neera Tanden, Biden’s initial pick to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget, withdrew in March amid opposition from Manchin and all 50 Senate Republicans.
Without the opposition from the above mentioned senators, Chipman likely would have been confirmed. Newsmax noted, "...Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent who generally votes with the Democrats but was a holdout on Chipman, was a key factor in the decision to withdraw the nomination."
Until Biden selects another nominee, the ATF will continue to function without a director, as it has done for years:
The job of ATF director is so politically fraught that the Senate has confirmed only one nominee to the post in the past 15 years. The rest of the ATF's leaders have served in an acting capacity, making it harder to put their stamp on lasting and meaningful policy.
Many are celebrating Chipman's nomination withdrawal and attributing the victory to loud and tireless advocacy.
🚨🚨 Radical anti-gun nominee for the ATF David Chipman has been stopped. This is why we fight!https://t.co/ui19JBpVd8— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) September 9, 2021
We held the line & pressured Biden into rescinding David Chipman’s nomination to lead the ATF!— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) September 9, 2021
I will ALWAYS stand up for our Second Amendment rights!
Breaking 🚨After @RepJimBanks, my @HouseGOP colleagues, and I called on Senate leadership to reject the confirmation of rabid gun control activist David Chipman, his confirmation was withdrawn by the Biden Admin. This is a huge win for the Second Amendment. #2A pic.twitter.com/wgKPXGJAV5— Rep. Doug Lamborn (@RepDLamborn) September 9, 2021
It's doubtful that Biden will select a praiseworthy nominee the second time around, but let's hope that he or she can at least define "assault weapon" after declaring that assault weapons should be banned.