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Capitol Briefs: Schmitt opposes David Chipman’s appointment to ATF

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Attorney General Eric Schmitt is among those opposing the appointment of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).  

Schmitt joined 19 Republican attorneys general in a letter to U.S. Senate leadership opposing the nomination by President Joe Biden. The letter, led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, pointed to Chipman’s “long history with organizations whose mission is to erase the Second Amendment.”

“Firearms are far beyond a hobby or a passion. They are a part of our national heritage and everyday life for tens of millions of Americans, particularly those of us who live in rural areas,” the letter said. “This is why Mr. Chipman’s past affiliation with anti-gun organizations and his extreme positions on commonly owned firearms is so concerning to us as attorneys general and why he is unfit to be confirmed as head of the ATF.” 

  • Chipman worked as a senior policy advisor for the Giffords Law Center, which promotes gun control and provides information about gun violence, for the past five years. Prior to his advocacy work, he spent 25 years with the ATF as an agent. 
  • Biden named Chipman as his pick to lead the ATF in April.
  • On the other side of the aisle, 17 Democratic attorneys general sent U.S. Senate leadership a letter in support of the nomination last week.
  • Schmitt has weighed in on the federal government numerous times over the past year, from similar letters to pending lawsuits against the new presidential administration.