Tucson, AZ - Safari Club International strongly opposes the nomination of David Chipman as the Biden Administration’s nominee for the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Chipman, a longtime gun control lobbyist, has expressly stated his support for banning the most popular rifle in the U.S., owned by tens of millions of law-abiding Americans. He holds many other radical anti-Second Amendment positions, all of which would not only impact the civil rights of Americans but will also have very detrimental effects on hunting and wildlife conservation.
The nomination of Chipman will significantly harm wildlife conservation and management efforts across the country. Manufacturers pay a 10- to 11-percent tax on firearms and ammunition, which directly funds state wildlife and habitat conservation, law enforcement, hunter safety programs and other wildlife-related uses. This tax comes from all recreational firearm manufacturing, not just those firearms used for hunting.
SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin stated: “The benefits all hunters and recreational shooters bring to wildlife and habitat conservation cannot be diminished. America’s law-abiding sportsmen and women are vital to providing the revenue, participation, and management necessary to conserving wildlife and habitat across the country. David Chipman’s explicit hostility to our community is dangerous, and we strongly oppose his nomination to lead ATF.”
SCI was among the 22 organizations that sent a June 11, 2021, letter to Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Republican Leader McConnell outlining strong opposition to Chipman.
The letter read, in part, “our collective opposition to Mr. Chipman’s nomination stems from his long record of radical anti-firearm statements and actions. These give rise to our concern that, if confirmed, Mr. Chipman will take proactive steps to impede gun ownership, hunting and recreational shooting in a manner that detrimentally impacts wildlife conservation and management.”
As the letter noted, in 2017 Chipman testified before the House Natural Resources Committee in opposition to HR 3668, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, a bill that received significant support from the hunting and conservation community. The SHARE Act expanded access and opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on federal lands, an issue of great importance to America’s sportsmen and women.
“Based on these positions,” the letter stated, “it is clear to us that the confirmation of David Chipman as ATF Director would result in significant and far-reaching negative impacts to hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and, importantly, to wildlife and its habitat.”
In addition to SCI, organizations signing onto the opposition letter included the conservation groups Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, the Mule Deer Foundation, the National Deer Association and the National Wild Turkey Federation.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, National Rifle Association, and National Shooting Sports Foundation were also signatories to the letter.
SCI is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. Nearly 200 Chapters represent all 50 states of the United States as well as 106 countries. SCI's proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Learn more at SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information. International Headquarters Washington, District of Columbia * Tucson, Arizona * Ottawa, Canada