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12 GOP reps filing impeachment articles against ATF nominee Chipman if confirmed

Former ATF agent David Chipman (James Gregg/American-Statesman/TNS)
July 26, 2021

Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale and 11 other Republican lawmakers announced on Monday that they have drafted a resolution to introduce articles of impeachment against David Chipman if he is confirmed as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“Today, 11 of my colleagues and I announced that if David Chipman is confirmed as Director of the ATF, we will introduce articles of impeachment against him,” Rosendale tweeted on Monday.

The proposed resolution alleges that Chipman “does not support and defend the Constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms” and that he will use his power to violate those rights.

“The people of the United States have an unquestioned right to keep and bear arms, enshrined in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, which was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in District of Columbia v. Heller,” the articles state. “David H. Chipman’s statements and employment history make clear that he does not support and defend the Constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms and intends to use his position as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to violate and abridge the Second Amendment rights of Americans.”

The articles go on to highlight Chipman’s work as a paid lobbyist for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun control advocacy group that later combined with Moms Demand Action to create “the largest anti-Second Amendment advocacy organization in the United States,” Everytown for Gun Safety.

Chipman also currently works as a senior policy advisor and paid lobbyist for Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, another gun-control advocacy group that is “so extreme” they filed an amicus brief claiming the Second Amendment doesn’t protect Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.

“In his roles as a paid lobbyist and anti-Second Amendment advocate, David H. Chipman personally advocated, lobbied for, and expressed support for numerous policies which would violate and abridge the Second Amendment rights of Americans to keep and bear arms,” the articles continue.

Noted in the articles, ATF Director Michael Sullivan recently expressed concern with Chipman’s nomination, stressing Chipman’s “strong and hostile position against the Second Amendment, as well as gun owners and some of the most popular firearms in the United States.”

“To effectively enforce [gun] laws, you have to be unbiased and apolitical. You can’t be partisan. Dave [Chipman] has shown himself to be a rabid partisan,” Sullivan said.

Supporting Sullivan’s assessment, Chipman has mocked gun owners in American on multiple occasions, including saying new gun buyers are “like Tiger King and they’re putting themselves and their family in danger.” He also suggested that gun owners “secure that gun locked and unloaded and hide it behind the cans of tuna and beef jerky that you’ve stored in the cabinet, and only bring that out if the zombies start to appear.”

The articles preemptively determine that Chipman “has failed to uphold his oath of office, in which he swore to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States.’”

After President Joe Biden nominated Chipman for the position in April, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-11 over the nomination in June. The tie was divided along party lines, with Democrats supporting Chipman while Republicans on the committee vehemently opposed the controversial nomination.

The Committee tweeted that the tie vote “means [Majority Leader Chuck Schumer] may now file a discharge motion to place his nomination on the executive calendar.”