Biden’s former ATF nominee tells CBS ‘it’s easier to buy a gun than beer’ in much of the US

President Biden’s former choice to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives suggested buying guns is far more accessible than buying booze. 

David Chipman’s nomination to the ATF was withdrawn last month after his confirmation failed to get enough support in the Senate, but his past anti-gun remarks and reports of racially-charged rhetoric plagued the Biden appointee. 

Speaking to “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell, Chipman insisted “to oppose me must mean that you’re not for preventing gun violence.”

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“The resistance I met, Senators like King of Maine was ‘I’m concerned you will not play nice with the gun industry that you regulate.’ And that was shocking to me,” Chipman said. 

David H. Chipman, appears before a Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing for his nomination to be Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Department of Justice, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Credit: Rod Lamkey / CNP/Sipa USANo Use Germany.

David H. Chipman, appears before a Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing for his nomination to be Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Department of Justice, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Credit: Rod Lamkey / CNP/Sipa USANo Use Germany.
(Rod Lamkey / CNP/Sipa USA)

“What is the job of the ATF?” O’Donnell asked. 

“Protect this country from gun trafficking and domestic terror. Period,” Chipman responded. “This is, you know, a unique agency that has to regulate the firearms industry, regulate the explosives industry and really is on the front line of the greatest threats to our country at this time.” 

“And that’s the word that scares people- regulate. That by regulating the gun industry, that means you’re going to make it harder for lawful owners to buy guns or are you going to go and take their guns away,” O’Donnell said. 

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“The fear is it’s gonna be harder for people who sell guns to sell guns absent any accountability for profiting from selling them to criminals and terrorists,” Chipman told O’Donnell. “The reality is, is in much of America, it’s easier to buy a gun than beer.” 

Chipman’s claim received zero pushback from O’Donnell in the exchange that aired Wednesday evening. 

Chipman was the subject of complaints filed at the AFT of denigrating Black ATF agents who were up for promotion during his previous stint at the agency.

A Black former ATF agent even accused Chipman of racial bias for falsely claiming he cheated on a promotion exam.

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Chipman also raised eyebrows when it was discovered he was used in Chinese propaganda following his appearance on the Chinese state-run media network, China Global Television Network (CGTN) in December 2012 to discuss the government’s response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, something he failed to previously disclose. 

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