A dozen House Republicans are reportedly pushing a resolution to impeach President Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms — even before he’s been confirmed.
The political effort to derail David Chipman for the AFT job is led by Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., and comes several moderate Democrats remain undecided on a nominee with a history of working for gun control groups.
“The confirmation of David Chipman to the ATF would be a direct threat to the second amendment rights of Americans and the rule of law,” Rosendale said in a statement to Fox News, which broke the news and posted a copy of the resolution.
“Not only has Chipman previously given false testimony to Congress, but his statements on gun-control are evidence that his confirmation would be a failure to support and defend our constitutional rights. If appointed, both are impeachable offenses and worthy of Congress to consider his removal.”
The impeachment resolution includes two articles, one alleging Chipman has failed to “support and defend” the Second Amendment and thus the Constitution, and a second alleging he lied to Congress by denying allegations he lost his service weapon as an ATF agent.
The ATF has said previously there’s no record of Chipman ever losing track of his gun.
The impeachment resolution has 11 Republican co-sponsors in addition to Rosendale: Reps. Bob Good, R-Va.; Jeff Duncan, R-S.C.; Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.; Ralph Norman, R-S.C.; Jody Hice, R-Ga.; Diana Harshbarger, R-Tenn.; Scott Perry, R-Pa.; Alex Mooney, R-W.Va.; Andy Harris, R-Md.; Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.; and Andrew Clyde, R-Ga.
The resolution underscores GOP opposition to Chipman, including moderate Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who called him “unusually divisive” and saying he’s “made statements that demean law-abiding gun owners,” the Bangor Daily News noted.
Chipman made disparaging comments about gun owners when talking about a spike in gun purchases, Cheddar News reported in April 2020.
“They might think that they’re die-hard ready to go,” Chipman said at the time. “But unfortunately they’re more like Tiger King and they’re putting themselves and their families in danger.”
Chipman also caught flack for 2019 comments in Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything,” claiming people who failed background checks to buy a gun often later committed crimes and said, “This is a perfect opportunity to arrest people before committing crimes,” Fox News reported.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, called Chipman’s remarks “the sort of thing that’s reserved for bad post-apocalyptic dystopian novels and movies.”
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is still undecided on Chipman’s nomination, his spokesperson Andy Bixler told Fox News. And Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, “continues to review his nomination,” spokesperson Matthew Felling told the news outlet.
The Wall Street Journal has reported Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., is also undecided.
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., also haven’t taken a public stance on Chipman. Manchin in June acknowledged “there’s a lot of controversy” around Chipman, Politico reported, saying, “I really am undecided.”