David Chipman Denigrates First Amendment

David Chipman testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, September 25, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

President Biden’s nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms appeared on Chinese state television in 2012 to discuss the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Chipman appeared on China Global Television Network in December 2012 to discuss the Newtown, Ct., massacre in which 28 people were killed.

Chipman’s interview furthered a propaganda strategy to distract from a stabbing attack that claimed the lives of 23 children in China’s Heinan Province the same day. Chinese media gave scant attention to the stabbing and instead focused on the Sandy Hook shooting, Reuters reported at the time.

Chipman’s interview on the Sandy Hook shooting is available on YouTube. The Trump administration required CGTN to register as a foreign agent in 2019, along with a host of other Chinese state media outlets.

Chipman’s disclosure of media appearances to the Senate includes a disclaimer saying there may be other appearances that he does not remember.

“I have done my best to identify all interviews given, including through a review of my personal files, and searches of publicly available electronic databases,” the disclaimer states. “Despite my searches, there may be other materials that I have been unable to identify, find, or remember.”

It is not clear when the Senate will vote to confirm Chipman as director of the ATF. Conservatives have criticized Chipman’s support for gun control measures, and with moderate Senator Susan Collins (R., Maine) opposing his confirmation, Chipman would likely be approved as ATF director along party lines.

“In recent years, Mr. Chipman has been an outspoken critic of the firearms industry and has made statements that demean law-abiding gun owners,” Collins said in June. “Although he has the right to express his views, I believe this history makes him an unusually divisive pick for this important position.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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