(Associated Press) The White House will withdraw the nomination of a gun-control advocate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after David Chipman ran into bipartisan opposition in the Senate, a person familiar with the decision said Thursday.
Chipman is a former federal agent and adviser at the gun control group Giffords.
He won praise from advocates for his work pushing for greater regulation and enforcement on ghost guns, overhauling the background check system and moves to reduce the trafficking of illegal firearms.
But that same advocacy drew opposition from moderate Republicans such as Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, as well as independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, dooming his prospects for confirmation in the 50-50 divided Senate.
Chipman’s nomination had stalled for months and he was widely seen as one of the administration’s most contentious nominees.
“David Chipman is an erratic, anti-gun radical who planned to outlaw nearly every single sporting rifle in America,” said Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas. “He is wholly unfit to run the ATF, and I’m glad to see President Biden has withdrawn his nomination.”
The White House and top Democrats had been pushing to try to save his nomination for weeks but could not secure the necessary votes, with some Democrats saying privately they would not vote for him.
The White House declined to comment on the decision.
The person familiar with the decision was not authorized to publicly discuss the developments in Chipman’s nomination and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Headline USA contributed to this report.