Update 9/10/2001 - Biden Withdraws David Chipman's Nomination for ATF Director
Following several months of public outcry in opposition to President Biden's nomination of David Chipman as ATF director, the White House has finally announced that they are withdrawing his nomination. David Chipman will not be the next ATF director.
After a contentious Senate confirmation hearing, Chipman was referred out of the Judiciary Committee on an 11-11 split vote back on June 24, marking the first real portent of the Biden nominee's inevitable failure. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) delayed bringing Chipman's nomination to the floor, struggling to whip the votes needed to confirm Chipman in a Senate divided 50-50 along deep partisan lines.
All eyes turned to the Senate's two centrist Republicans, two conservative Democrats, and its single left-leaning Independent, who together would determine Chipman's success or demise. Republican Susan Collins from Maine was the first to break, signaling her lack of support for Chipman, and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania signaled the same a few days later. That left the two Democrats and the Independent, and the possibility that Kamala Harris would have to make an historic vice-presidential tie breaker.
Then just last week, Independent Angus King of Maine indicated that he wouldn't support Chipman either. With that, Democrats could do no better than 49 votes, fortunately sealing the fate of David Chipman's nomination.
The pushback on Chipman was tremendous, and justifiably so given his gross anti-gun activist attitudes. His defeat marks a tremendous effort by gun owners and the gun industry. Rarely do we see the banding together of forces by pro-gun, pro-freedom Americans and businesses as we have seen in response to Chipman and the ATF's pending anti-gun rules changes.
That said, this is only a temporary victory and gun owners need to stay vigilant. Biden will eventually nominate another dangerous candidate, and we still have yet to see the outcome of the ATF's recently proposed rules changes, which would significantly impact our freedoms.
This fight isn't over. Stay tuned to Brownells' 2A Action Center for future updates.
Update 6/29/2001 - Chipman Will Advance to Full Senate Vote
Last week, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee split down party lines (11 Democrats to 11 Republicans) on whether or not David Chipman will receive a vote on the Senate floor. The split essentially means Senate Democrats will have to jump through some extra procedural hoops, but ultimately, the full Senate will weigh in.
We are hearing the likely full Senate vote will happen in mid-July 2021. Now is the time to keep the pressure on your Senators, particularly the following members of the U.S. Senate:
- Sen. Joe Manchin (D – WV)
- Sen. Susan Collins (R – Maine)
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska)
- Sen. Jon Tester (D – Mont.)
- Sen. Krysten Sinema (D – AZ)
- Sen. Mark Kelly (D – AZ) *Kelly should recuse himself from the vote as Chipman is still employed by Kelly’s wife, Gabby Giffords, who runs a pro-gun control organization.
Fight the Nomination of David Chipman for ATF Director
Back in April, President Biden nominated David Chipman for the position of Director of the ATF. Prior to his retirement in 2012, Chipman was a 25-year veteran of the Bureau. His second post for the ATF was as a special agent at the Waco, Texas, field office from 1993 to 1998, during the Waco siege.
In the years since his retirement, Chipman has been employed by multiple major gun control groups and has publicly advocated for numerous anti-gun policies such as banning so-called "assault rifles," regulating semi-automatic firearms as machine guns, and instituting burdensome gun registration, licensing, and taxing schemes. More than once he has mocked gun owners with condescending and derogatory comments.
At his recent Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Chipman demonstrated disconcerting level of ignorance regarding firearms. In one notable moment, a senator asked Chipman to define a term he frequently uses - "assault weapon," which he struggled with and was ultimately unable to do. As a result of this and other disqualifying exchanges, several senators questioned Chipman's qualifications to lead the ATF.
Fortunately, the Senate has yet to confirm David Chipman to the post, so there is still time for Americans to contact their senators and urge them to reject Chipman's nomination. Please visit and take a few moments to let your senators know that David Chipman is not the man for the job. Contact your senator here. Remember to keep your comments respectful and direct to increase their impact.
Understand New Proposed Rules For 80% and Other Frames
At the direction of President Biden, the ATF has recently proposed an alarming series of changes to federal firearms regulations. These proposals include adding or expanding the definitions of what constitutes a firearm frame or receiver, weapon, suppressor, or a privately made firearm. The proposed changes also include granting the government authority to declare firearms parts as actual firearms, as well as create new regulatory burdens regarding serial numbers and other markings.
Should these proposals become official regulations, every American's constitutionally protected right to make, modify, and own firearms will be negatively impacted. The end result will be an infringement on the free and lawful exercise of the Second Amendment, the destruction of countless small businesses and livelihoods, and the added costs of new regulatory burdens being passed off to the consumer in the form of increased prices.
The comment period for these harmful proposals is now open on the ATF's website. Please visit to leave feedback for federal reviewers. Remember to keep your comments respectful and direct to increase their impact on the decision makers' final determination.
Understand New Proposed Rules for Pistol Braces
Continuing to pursue President Biden's anti-gun agenda, the ATF has just released a new set of firearms rule change proposals, this time regarding pistol stabilizing braces. These latest proposed regulations are intended to determine whether or not a pistol falls under the definition of a short barreled rifle (SBR) under the National Firearms Act (NFA). The government's clear intent is to eliminate the unregistered ownership of firearms that use pistol braces.
To start, the proposal would redefine the meaning of "rifle" to potentially include firearms equipped with a stabilizing brace designed to be fired from the shoulder. It would also implement an arbitrary points system that the ATF would use to determine if a pistol falls under the purview of the NFA. Any pistol with four or more points would be determined to be an SBR and would thus fall under NFA restrictions.
Points would be awarded on factors such as whether a firearm equipped with a stabilizing brace could possibly be fired from the shoulder, or may be, is likely to be, or is definitely intended to be fired from the shoulder, each counting as 1, 2, 3, or 4 points respectively. Certain features are given points as well. For example, flip-up sights are one point, and red dot sights, full length buffer tubes, and hand stops are all worth two points.
Other factors automatically make a firearm an SBR regardless of points. Any pistol with a second grip or that weighs over 120 ounces unloaded would be an SBR. There would also be a 26 inch maximum length as measured from the rear of the buffer tube to the end of the muzzle, which would effectively limit AR-based pistols to 7 inch barrels.
There are a few other factors in this new draconian proposal, however all of them are an assault upon American's constitutionally protected rights, representing a significant infringement on the free and lawful exercise of the Second Amendment, not to mention the economic impact to the firearms industry as manufacturers will be forced to engage in legal struggles to get products approved, make large expenditures to tool up for producing new products, or go out of business altogether and put their employees out of jobs.
All ATF proposals must be open for public comment and those comments must be considered before any final determination is made. The comment period will be open very soon, right after the proposal is published in the federal register, which means now is the time to act. Once open, please leave feedback for federal reviewers. You can find the link here. Remember to keep your comments respectful and direct to increase their impact on the decision makers' final determination.