United States President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), David Chipman, announced his withdrawal on Thursday after widespread criticism from moderate senators.
The eldest son of former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., aggressively lobbied against Biden's nominee. The situation comes after many Republicans condemned Chipman, who is a former longtime ATF special agent, for supporting certain gun regulations.
David Chipman's Withdrawal
Chipman supported reformed background checks and crackdowns on illegal firearm trafficking across the United States. The nominee's confirmation depended on support from Democrats from red states, including West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Montana's Jon Tester. However, these lawmakers have faced increasing pressure from right-winged politicians.
In a related incident, Trump Jr., targeted those lawmakers by publishing op-ed articles in Montana and West Virginia newspapers. The Republican called Chipman "the greatest threat" to the country's Second Amendment rights. He added by saying that the Biden nominee would destroy the amendment, Business Insider reported.
"We would be taking a guy whose current job is to advocate for guns being taken away from law-abiding citizens, and actually give him the power to do it," Trump Jr. wrote in the articles. The former president's son is a businessman and political activist who opposes nearly all gun restrictions in the country.
In a statement on Thursday, Biden said that Chipman served the ATF as an agency for 25 years and provided distinguished service to the country. He said that Republicans in Congress unfortunately made it clear that they were using gun crime as a political talking point instead of trying to fix the issue.
The Democrat said that was the reason why Republican lawmakers supported gun manufacturers and the majority of the American people in opposing measures such as universal background checks. During his speech, Biden thanked Chipman and said he was grateful for the former ATF agent's work to fight gun violence, Fox News reported.
Serving at the ATF
Chipman's withdrawal from the ATF nomination comes as Democratic lawmakers have struggled to fight back against GOP resistance to measures that aim to curb the use of guns in the United States. The country has recently recorded a massive surge in gun violence that has taken the lives of many residents.
Two bills were passed by the House that would have led to the expansion of background checks on firearm sales, including one that would also target private and commercial transactions. However, the lack of support from moderate Democrats, including Manchin and Tester, makes it increasingly difficult to pass into law.
In his bio on the website for Giffords, Chipman "disrupted firearms trafficking operations in Virginia that were supplying illegal guns to New York City, served as a member of ATF's version of SWAT, and was named the Special Agent in Charge of ATF's Firearms Programs," during his time with the bureau.
The agency has become increasingly visible after recent gun violence crimes and mass shootings that have plagued the United States. The ATF wrote on its website that it was dedicated to protecting communities from violent criminals and criminal organizations and prevent the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, CNN reported.