David Chipman, a 25-year veteran in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and a gun control advocate, has been withdrawn as President Joe Biden‘s nominee to lead the ATF, the president confirmed in a statement Thursday.

“We knew this wouldn’t be easy — there’s only been one Senate-confirmed ATF director in the bureau’s history — but I have spent my entire career working to combat the scourge of gun violence, and I remain deeply committed to that work,” Biden said in a statement, confirming the withdrawal. “I am grateful for Mr. Chipman’s service and for his work.”

The nomination of Chipman triggered a powerful backlash from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other pro-gun organizations who claimed that his appointment would threaten their Second Amendment rights.

“He would have been an exemplary director of the ATF and would have redoubled its efforts to crack down on illegal firearms traffickers and help keep our communities safe from gun violence,” Biden added. “Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress have made clear that they intend to use gun crime as a political talking point instead of taking serious steps to address it.”


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Following Biden’s announcement, the NRA released a statement shortly after, celebrating their victory.

“This critical win is thanks to NRA members who flooded their senators’ offices with texts, emails, letters and phone calls voicing their opposition to Chipman’s nomination. Because of their swift action and ongoing opposition over the past several months, the radical gun control advocate will not sit at the helm of the ATF,” said Jason Ouimet, an executive director at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “For now, gun owners can rest assured the most immediate threat to their rights has been defeated, and gun control proponents have suffered a huge setback.”

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