In a speech at the White House on Thursday, Biden tapped anti-gun activist and former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) agent David Chipman to head the agency.
The ATF, the key agency enforcing gun laws, “has had a permanent director since 2015,” Biden said Thursday, April 8, 2021. “Today, I am proud to nominate David Chipman to serve as the director of the AFT [ATF].”
“David knows the AFT [ATF] well,” Biden added.
President Biden’s nominee, who served as a case agent in the Branch Davidian trial, answered questions on Reddit in Sept. 2019 as part of an “Ask Me Something” forum.
Chipman responded to a participant’s question about the Waco siege, falsely claiming that Branch Davidian sect members had shot down two helicopters during the Waco Massacre.
While the Branch Davidian members allegedly shot at the helicopters with 2.50 caliber Barratts, the vessels themselves did not go down.
“At Waco, cult members used 2.50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air, National Guard helicopters. Point, it is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often. The victims of drug lords in Mexico are not so lucky. America plays a role in fueling the violence south of the border,” Chipman said without mentioning his time as a case agent for the trial, reported The New York Post.
In late Feb. 1993, law enforcement and the Waco, Texas-based religious cult engaged in a 51-day standoff as authorities attempted to seize illegal weapons they suspected the group was stockpiling.
According to Branch Davidians, law enforcement started the shooting that led to the incident escalating as it did. Four ATF agents and 82 Branch Davidians died in the massacre. However, authorities have always held that the Branch Davidians started the shooting.
The massacre ended after 51 days when the FBI launched a tear gas attack, during which the compound caught on fire. Only nine members of the group survived.
Other users corrected Chipman during the Reddit forum, but he chose not to edit or amend his comment.
In the same forum, Chipman was asked about mistrust of the government after Waco. He answered, “I worked for the government for 25 years, and I understand how trust in government has been harmed. Please remember, however, that it was agents on the ground who let the public know the truth about these incidents when some sought to cover up inconvenient truths.”
Chipman’s Twitter account is now private, and he has deleted over 1000 tweets in the last few days.
Last April, Chipman mocked new gun owners and compared them to the “Tiger King” in an interview with Cheddar.
“They might think that they’re die-hard, ready to go, but unfortunately, they’re more like Tiger King, and they’re putting themselves and their family in danger,” he said.
“Hide it behind the cans of tuna and beef jerky that you’ve stored in the cabinet,” Chipman advised new gun owners. “I’m much more concerned about these guns being stored safely in homes now and not unintendedly putting families at risk or the gun buyer themselves at risk.”