Joe Biden: US President Biden’s failed gun policy candidate says he received death threats, no protection | World news
Longtime ATF agent and gun control advocate David Chipman said in an interview Wednesday that he hired a security advisor after repeatedly telling the FBI and its officials in the Ministry of Justice who had been tasked with helping him navigate the threat confirmation process.
Earlier this month, the White House withdrew Chipman’s appointment as head of the ATF, where he worked for 25 years, after Senator Angus King, an independent who usually votes with Democrats, declined to support his nomination.
In the five months since his appointment to head the agency, he has been the target of repeated threats, Chipman said.
“What worried me was that there was no one in government that I knew of who was willing to take responsibility for my own safety or that of my wife,” he said. âI spoke to the FBI. They said, ‘Well, has anyone done something? We’re investigating the crimes.’ I said, “Well that’s not what I’m looking for. Who owns my security?” ”
In a statement to Reuters, a Justice Department official said he took security concerns seriously and the department had considered whether Chipman needed security.
“The department assessed the need for protection based on Mr. Chipman’s request. In addition, the department contacted local law enforcement to inform them of Mr. Chipman’s concerns,” the official said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday the administration shared Chipman’s frustration that he had not been confirmed.
The leadership of the ATF has long been politically charged. The Senate has only confirmed one candidate for the post in the past 15 years, thanks to fierce lobbying from powerful gun groups, including the National Rifle Association (NRA).
But Chipman, who still serves as senior policy adviser to Giffords’ gun rights group, has faced additional hurdles, including a social media disinformation campaign that he says has been funded in part by the National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF). He said the group circulated false allegations that it killed women and children during a standoff in 1993 in Waco, Texas.
NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva admitted that his organization posted a blog citing a Daily Mail article falsely claiming that Chipman was pictured in a photo taken in Waco.
“When it became clear that it wasn’t him, we took that photo off,” he said, calling the threats Chipman was facing “reprehensible.”
Death threats have become a growing factor in US politics, from the hundreds of people who stormed the Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to reverse Donald Trump’s election defeat, to phone threats to election officials and the conspiracy. aimed at kidnapping the governor of Michigan by men angry at policies intended to stem the spread of Covid-19. Read more
Chipman said he took particular note of a stamped threat letter in Grand Rapids, Michigan, given last year’s plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Chipman said he hired a security advisor to identify credible threats and plan safe trips.
He said he intended to stay in Giffords, founded by former United States Democratic Representative Gabby Giffords after she was injured by a gunman during a 2011 assassination attempt in Arizona.
âI couldn’t be on the sidelines at this point in our history,â he said.