What David Chipman, Joe Biden's ATF Nominee, Allegedly Said About Waco

President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) may have falsely claimed that cult members at Waco shot down helicopters.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment on this article. Newsweek has attempted to contact David Chipman for comment.

David Chipman has been slated to lead the agency as the Biden administration looks at ways to implement more restrictions on access to firearms. Chipman was an ATF agent for 25 years and is currently a senior policy advisor at Giffords, a lobby group seeking stricter gun laws led by former representative Gabriel Giffords.

During a Reddit "Ask Me Anything (AMA)" last year, a user identifying himself as Chipman made the claim about members of the Branch Davidians at the deadly siege in Waco, Texas in 1993. The post about the topic re-emerged on Thursday on social media.

"I am David Chipman. I spent 25 years as a special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)," the user wrote in his introductory Reddit post.

"I stopped the illegal flow of guns from Virginia to New York, was on the ATF SWAT team, and served as Special Agent in Charge of ATF's Firearms Programs. Now I work with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to save lives from gun violence."

As proof of his identity, the AMA began with a photo clearly showing Chipman holding a handwritten sign saying "This is @David_Chipman." The AMA is now closed but it received more than a thousand comments.

In one post, he discussed the use of .50 caliber Barrett rifles. The Waco siege was a standoff between federal authorities—originally the ATF and later the FBI—and the Branch Davidians led by David Koresh.

The government agencies' handling of the events would become the subject of major criticism after 76 members of the cult died. Five ATF agents were also killed and 16 injured.

"At Waco, cult members used two .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters," the user wrote in the 2020 AMA.

Biden's pick for ATF thinks the Branch Davidians at Waco shot down two government helicopters. (HT @LPTexas). From a Reddit AMA last year. pic.twitter.com/EygNk7jFrf

— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) April 8, 2021

"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."

Texas National Guard helicopters were deployed during the siege and some Branch Davidians did open fire, according to the Dallas Morning News, but none of helicopters were shot down. However, they were forced to turn back as a result of the gunfire.

Koresh would later claim that the helicopters had fired into the compound but a Texas National Guard after action report said: "Nothing but videotape was shot from the TXNG aircraft on 28 February 1993."

Former ATF Special Agent David Chipman
Former special agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) David Chipman testifies during a hearing before the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force January 23, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Chipman has been nominated to lead ATF. Alex Wong/Getty Images