2A Group Demands Investigation Into Alleged Comments By ATF Nominee

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (where, in full disclosure, I serve on the board of directors) is calling for an investigation into David Chipman, the gun control activist and former ATF agent nominated by Joe Biden to head up the agency as its permanent director. CCRKBA head Alan Gottlieb says allegations that Chipman made a derogatory remark about Black agents and their scores on an agency selection exam are “alarming and incredibly disturbing,” and that a full accounting of the investigation into the comments needs to be made public.

“With the racist history of gun control and past racist enforcement practices going back to Reconstruction,” Gottlieb said, “the last thing we need is someone heading ATF who not only wants to ban black guns, but also denigrates black people, including his own colleagues.

“It’s impossible for the Biden administration to not have known about this,” he continued. “A watchdog group has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit concerning this allegation, and we believe this must be investigated, or Chipman’s nomination should be rejected immediately.”

The Daily Caller recently reported that a conservative watchdog group called the American Accountability Foundation has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking more information about the alleged incident back in 2007. The website noted that Chipman himself spoke during his confirmation hearing about two Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints that had been filed during his time as an ATF supervisor, though he didn’t discuss specifics. According to AAF head Tom Jones, one of the complaints was filed over Chipman’s alleged comments.

Jones told the Daily Caller News Foundation he spoke with a former ATF agent who personally witnessed Chipman making the derogatory comment after reviewing results for candidates who had passed an assessment to become an assistant special agent in charge.

Jones said the former ATF agent recalled Chipman saying: “Wow, there were an unusually large number of African American agents that passed the exam this time. They must have been cheating.”

According to Jones, the former ATF agent was “incensed” upon hearing Chipman’s comment and reported the incident to the EEOC.

Chipman was the assistant special agent in charge of the Detroit Field Division at the time he allegedly made the derogatory comment.

The DCNF’s attempts to reach the agent who reported Chipman’s comments to the EEOC were unsuccessful.

Another former ATF agent who worked in the Detroit office at the time told the DCNF that Chipman’s alleged comments about African Americans “spread like wildfire at the agency.”

The former Detroit-based ATF agent, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, did not personally witness Chipman making the comment, but recalled colleagues talking about how Chipman “made this remark that all the African Americans must be cheating because there’s no way they could get these scores.”

“He made this remark in front of a bunch of witnesses,” the former Detroit-based ATF agent said. “It spread like wildfire at the agency. It got tremendous blowback, as it should. Here you have a middle manager saying something like that with absolutely no proof.”

It’s unclear how the EEOC resolved the matter.

If there were multiple witnesses to Chipman’s alleged comments, now would be a good time for them to speak up on the record. The FOIA lawsuit filed by the American Accountability Foundation isn’t likely to be resolved before Chipman’s confirmation vote is held in the full Senate, and the CCRKBA’s Gottlieb says both senators and the general public deserve to know the full story before that vote takes place.

“This is a serious issue,” Gottlieb stated, “and it needs to be investigated now, before the Senate is asked to take any action. If Chipman made such a statement, it’s a slap in the face to millions of African American gun owners, and Democrats should be ashamed and embarrassed that Biden nominated him for such an important position.

“Chipman’s nomination has already raised several red flags for America’s gun owners,” he noted, “but this new allegation is simply toxic and we cannot allow the Biden administration and Senate Democrats to just ignore it. If that’s the course they plan to take, then Chipman’s nomination must be rejected.

So far the Biden administration and Senate Democrats have been content to ignore the story, which hasn’t received a lot of media attention. Hopefully that will soon change, because Gottlieb is right. If these allegations are true, they cannot be ignored, and they present yet another red flag when it comes to putting David Chipman in charge of the government agency overseeing our nation’s gun laws and the firearms industry.