Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey announced he will oppose Joe Biden’s nominee for ATF director, David Chipman.

“Meaningful progress on gun safety will only be possible when members of Congress and the executive branch drop the politics and hyperbole and focus on the possible. That likely will not happen if the ATF—the law enforcement agency tasked with enforcing the nation’s firearm laws—cannot be impartial in carrying out its duties. While I respect David Chipman’s nearly 25 years of experience as an ATF agent, I fear that his subsequent vocal support for policies that limit the rights of law-abiding gun owners and his past criticisms of those in the firearm industry would compromise his ability to carry out ATF’s mission effectively. As such, I am unable to support his nomination to lead the ATF,” Toomey said in a statement yesterday.

“On behalf of the firearm and ammunition industry, the 13,000 hardworking Pennsylvanians whose jobs depend on the firearm industry, millions of lawful Pennsylvania gun owners and Second Amendment supporters, we thank Senator Pat Toomey for his strong and principled stand to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans. This decision protects the men and women of the ATF working hard each day to carry out their critical mission.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation was quick to respond to Toomey’s announcement:

“On behalf of the firearm and ammunition industry, the 13,000 hardworking Pennsylvanians whose jobs depend on the firearm industry, millions of lawful Pennsylvania gun owners and Second Amendment supporters, we thank Senator Pat Toomey for his strong and principled stand to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans. This decision protects the men and women of the ATF working hard each day to carry out their critical mission,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President, and General Counsel. “David Chipman’s nomination is clearly a move to politicize the ATF. Confirming a gun control lobbyist as director would not only do irreversible damage to ATF’s mission but it would also harm the cooperative relationship between our industry members and ATF.”

Chipman retired after a 25-year career in the ATF and then served as a senior policy advisor for Everytown and Giffords anti-gun groups.

In testimony before the Senate, Chipman has said he wants to ban ARs, the country’s most popular rifle.

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