Who is David Chipman, Biden’s New Head of the ATF?

Chipman is no friend to gun owners. (Photo: C-SPAN)

President Joe Biden announced this week his intention to nominate David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

While not unexpected, the nomination has sparked outrage in the pro-gun community. Chipman has a history of making anti-gun statements, and his current employment at the gun-control group, Giffords, indicates he will be anything but an unbiased servant of the American people.

“Joe Biden just nominated a man now working for the Giffords gun control lobbying group to head the agency responsible for gun law enforcement,” said Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “That’s not just a bad signal to gun owners. The president has essentially raised the black flag, and we see nothing positive for American gun owners or the firearms industry.”

Chipman served 25 years as a special agent for the ATF, where he worked as a member of ATF’s version of SWAT and as the Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Firearms Programs. He most recently began working for Giffords as a senior policy advisor.

SEE ALSO: SAF Files Amicus Opposing Forced ATF Adoption of Extreme Gun Definition

Chipman’s Twitter account is now private, but he proudly lists “Gun Violence Prevention Advocate” in his bio.

In April of last year, Chipman mocked new gun owners and compared them to the “Tiger King” in an interview with Cheddar.

“They might think that they’re die-hard, ready to go, but unfortunately they’re more like Tiger King and they’re putting themselves and their family in danger,” he said.

“Hide it behind the cans of tuna and beef jerky that you’ve stored in the cabinet,” Chipman advised new gun owners. “I’m much more concerned about these guns being stored safely in homes now and not unintendedly putting families at risk or the gun buyer themselves at risk.” 

In a 2019 hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Chipman discussed a balance between “the rights of individuals and the rights of all Americans, and a human right not to get shot.”

“Our nation’s current gun violence crisis has made two things very clear: one, it is far too easy for violent people to get their hands on violent weapons,” he said. “Two, the American people overwhelmingly want Congress to act now to make their communities safer.”

SEE ALSO: Everytown Joins Kansas City and Illinois in Lawsuit Against ATF Over Nevada Gun Manufacturer

“There is virtually no limit to the possible size of an [AR-15] magazine,” he said. “It is simply unacceptable that military-style and high-power weapons are so readily available to citizens today and contribute to the loss of lives.”

In answer to a question from Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Chipman later said that AR- and AK-pistols “weren’t used in war” but were “developed to kill people here domestically.”

“I don’t know any common gun owners who look to that as a great self-defense weapon, but they fire rounds that leave devastating wounds, and we saw that in Dayton,” he continued.

Asked later about law-abiding gun owners responding to mass murder events, Chipman dismissed that idea as “a big myth.”

“I was trained to be that person, and I think that’s a big myth. I think the first thing I learned when I was trained with secret service is you don’t have enough time to pull your gun. You need to get in the way of the bullet and get shot,” he said.

Chipman will need 51 votes in the Senate to secure his nomination. If no Democrats defect, he can get that many votes with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • gandolf the Whte April 29, 2021, 7:15 am

    The ATF oversees the manufacture, importation and distribution of all firearms in the US. They also license and inspect all firearms dealers here.

  • Ej harbet April 18, 2021, 4:25 pm

    Hide your dogs and women!
    This pos made his bones with ronson reno may she burn forever.
    He took a trophy photo with burned
    Victims in the background.
    No mention of that by GA you can find it easily

  • Jon April 12, 2021, 8:21 pm

    This crazy looking retard fuck is going to get many ATF folks killed.

  • Norm Fishler April 12, 2021, 1:45 pm

    I never could understand why Trump never appointed an ATF department head.

  • Jk April 12, 2021, 8:58 am

    Chipman is a mislead socialist Left Communist, that thinks he is a king just because he was appointed by our SPED SO CALLED PRESIDENT,THAT DOES’NT HAVE THE balls to go to the Border and DR. FUCI A CREATOR OF THE VIRUS COVID 19 AS HE OFFLOADED IT TO CHINA TO MAKE ,WHEN OBAMA BANNED IT.

  • Gallo Pazzesco April 12, 2021, 8:28 am

    This guy is a full-blown wackadoodle. Surely he will not be confirmed. My worry is that he will order some crazy action upon our citizenry that will trigger some horrible, unnecessary, event. He comes-across as Nazilike, a brown-shirt type, totally unhinged, dishonorable and power hungry. The worst sort. His mendacity driven description of the Waco event illustrates his mental failings. Putting someone such as him in charge of an agency as powerful as the BATFE is dangerous. You want level-headed patriotic Americans at the top of agency … not liars and madmen.

  • SD April 12, 2021, 5:11 am

    You have to pay attention to how statements are framed. “It’s far too easy for criminals to get their hands on violent weapons”. That’s true. Why? Because criminals don’t obey the law. Had the statement been “it’s far too easy for criminals to LEGALLY get their hands on violent weapons” that would have been a lie. They want to make it far too hard for law abiding citizens to get their hands on guns.

  • ChiptheBarber April 11, 2021, 11:42 am

    Having already made the conscious decision to murder, which of the over 24000 gun laws does ANYBODY think is going to stop a madman? Also, many “common” gun owners think (and rightfully so) that AR and AK pistols make the perfect self defense/home defense weapon. One of these suppressed pistols in say, .300 BLK would be hard to argue with…in more ways than one! Every time this guy opens his mouth he shows his elitist disdain for the citizenry and the constitution. He thinks you’re too stupid to be a responsible firearm owner and is disgusted by your ability to defend yourself.

  • Shotgunner April 10, 2021, 2:29 pm

    Amen Brothers in arms.

  • Jim Canale April 10, 2021, 12:49 pm

    “high power weapons”.. Since when is an AR a “high power weapon”? Sure, they will kill, but not much power in theworld of firearms. This guy is ignorant.

  • Sam Hancock April 10, 2021, 6:38 am

    “Violent weapons” I think that tells us all we need to know about his mind set and the level of fairness he will bring to the job. They spin everything to their view point. Many inanimate objects are used to hurt and kill people, but we don’t claim that rocks, sticks, cars or baseball bats are “Violent”.

  • James P Sutton April 9, 2021, 9:14 pm

    When Chipman goes for his confirmation hearing, the first question should be, “Why is Hunter Biden not behind bars for lying on his background questionnaire?” I’ll start following gun control laws when the ATF does. If they actually enforced the gun control laws already on the books, violent crime in this country woulkd be significantly reduced.

    • Michael April 12, 2021, 8:30 am

      Non compliance is the only way. Since when did our alphabet agencies need the same weapons as our military? Our whole government has become tyrannical. Gun control has NO impact on the behavior of criminals.

  • bobs your uncle April 9, 2021, 6:55 pm

    So is he going after actual criminals, like in Chicago and other big cities? Probably not because those criminals are actually dangerous, go get em tiger

  • Thomas April 9, 2021, 2:39 pm

    Chipman called the AR type guns “weapons of war”. He also said he carried one on the ATF SWAT Team. I doubt very much that they carry a weapon that can’t fire full automatic. Weapons of war generally can fire full auto if needed, not like the semi-auto AR’s that the anti-gun people constantly incorrectly describe.

  • Kane April 9, 2021, 10:54 am

    If this creature feature looking freak, Chipman, gets approved you better be ready for more Waco’s, Ruby Ridge’s and Operation “gun runner” where the courts sealed the records of that federal crimes committed by the “AFT.”

  • Frank April 9, 2021, 10:38 am

    As painful as it currently is… BUY MORE AMMO!

  • Ardvark April 9, 2021, 10:21 am

    Hey stupid, how about supporting actual punishment for crimes, such as the death penalty! He supports control over people just like all communist ideological leaning democrats!

  • Albert Murphy April 9, 2021, 10:18 am

    Hey Chipman, with all of your talk and background, do you NOT know that more people are killed with knives than with AR’s, AK,s with large magazines plus all other long guns added in? So why don’t you just admit that you want to take our guns instead of dressing it up with lies.

  • krinkov545 April 9, 2021, 10:11 am

    Enjoy your eternity in everlasting flames David Chipmunk. Just like you dunce Biden will.

  • It’s Simple April 8, 2021, 2:22 pm

    When the system is rigged it’s past time for patriots to water the liberty tree.

    • Frank April 9, 2021, 10:37 am


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