Firearms lobby holds undue sway over Congress

David Chipman's career as a decorated ATF agent made him uniquely qualified to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives.

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Editorials

September 13, 2021 - 9:38 AM

Former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent and Giffords Law Center senior policy adviser David Chipman, right, had his nomination to lead the ATF withdrawn last week. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/TNS)

Of course the pro-gun-regulation activist and former ATF agent President Joe Biden nominated to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives couldn’t pass Senate muster.

What do you expect, a critic of Big Tech to take over the Federal Trade Commission? A champion of investor protections to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission? A lifelong advocate for safer roads and skies to sit atop the National Transportation Safety Board? Someone with a strong record of safeguarding our air, water and climate to lead the Environmental Protection Agency? Those questions are facetious; we fortunately have all of those officials in place, among many other regulators who’ve proven they have the gumption to take on entrenched interests to protect the public interest.

GUNS STAND alone. After the firearm industry howled at the top of its lungs and Republicans and some pro-gun Democrats and independents (we see you, Joe Manchin and Jon Tester and Angus King) followed their lead, Biden last week pulled David Chipman’s nomination.

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