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Biden’s failed nominee on gun policy says he got death threats, no protection By Reuters


© Reuters. Gun management advocate David Chipman, who works as a senior policy adviser for Giffords poses for a portrait in Washington, U.S., September 29, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s failed nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives mentioned he confronted death threats whereas the U.S. Senate was contemplating him however that the administration declined to supply him safety.

Longtime ATF agent and gun management advocate David Chipman mentioned in an interview on Wednesday that he employed a safety adviser after repeatedly telling the FBI and his handlers on the Justice Department who had been assigned to assist him navigate the affirmation course of in regards to the threats.

The White House earlier this month https://www.reuters.com/world/us/white-house-pulls-nomination-gun-control-advocate-lead-firearms-agency-2021-09-09 withdrew Chipman’s nomination to steer the ATF, the place he labored for 25 years, after Senator Angus King, an unbiased who normally votes with Democrats, declined to again his nomination.

In the 5 months after being nominated to run the company, he had been the goal of repeated threats, Chipman mentioned.

“What concerned me is there was no one in government that I knew of who was willing to take responsibility for my own safety or my wife’s safety,” he mentioned. “I talked to the FBI. They were like: ‘Well, has anyone done anything? We investigate crimes.’ I said: ‘Well, that’s not what I’m looking for. Who owns my security?'”

In a press release to Reuters, a Justice Department official mentioned it takes security issues critically and that the division reviewed whether or not Chipman wanted safety.

“The department evaluated the need for protection based on Mr. Chipman’s request. Additionally the department reached out to local law enforcement to make them aware of Mr. Chipman’s concerns,” the official mentioned.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki mentioned on Wednesday the administration shared Chipman’s frustration that he wasn’t confirmed.

ATF’s management has lengthy been politically fraught. The Senate has confirmed only one nominee to the put up up to now 15 years, due to fierce lobbying from highly effective gun advocacy teams together with the National Rifle Association (NRA).

But Chipman, who nonetheless serves as senior policy adviser with the Giffords gun management advocacy group, confronted further hurdles, together with a social media disinformation marketing campaign https://www.reuters.com/world/us/gun-control-advocate-aims-be-second-confirmed-atf-director-15-years-2021-05-26 that he mentioned was fueled partially by the National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF). He mentioned the group circulated bogus claims that he had killed girls and kids throughout a 1993 standoff in Waco, Texas.

NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva acknowledged his group posted a weblog citing a Daily Mail article that falsely claimed Chipman was depicted in a photograph taken at Waco.

“When it became obvious that it was not him, we took that photo down,” he mentioned, calling the threats Chipman confronted “reprehensible.”

Death threats have develop into an rising consider U.S. politics, from the lots of of people that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 making an attempt to overturn Donald Trump’s election defeat, to cellphone threats made to election employees and a plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor by males indignant about insurance policies meant to stem the unfold of COVID-19.

Chipman mentioned he took explicit word of 1 threatening letter postmarked Grand Rapids, Michigan, given final 12 months’s plot towards Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Chipman mentioned he employed a safety adviser to establish credible threats and plan protected journey.

He mentioned he intends to remain on at Giffords, based by Democratic former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords after she was wounded by a gunman in an 2011 tried assassination in Arizona.

“I couldn’t be on the sidelines at this point in our history,” he mentioned.

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