The Senate approved Tuesday President Biden’s nomination to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, despite Republican opposition over Biden’s support for military-style rifles being banned.
After the vote, Steven Dettelbach (an ex-federal prosecutor) became the first ATF director confirmed since 2013.
Senators voted 48-46 to confirm the nomination.
Mr. Dettelbach was the second nominee by Mr. Biden for the ATF. After Mr. Chipman had failed to get the support of important senators including Senator Angus King (a Maine independent who is a member of the Democrats), the president withdrew David Chipman’s nomination 2021.
Mr. Dettelbach made a pledge to avoid politics during his confirmation hearing.
” I was a Federal Prosecutor under Republican Administrations and under Democratic Administrations. I believe that law enforcement is primarily focused on the implementation of law.
Republicans opposed this nomination, citing Mr. Dettelbach’s statements in 2018 calling to ban military-style rifles and “assault weapon” during his unsuccessful bid for Ohio attorney general.
Republicans asked Mr. Dettelbach to clarify what an assault weapon was during his confirmation hearing. Dettelbach was unable to answer and claimed he wasn’t familiar with the definition in the 1994 federal ban of assault weapons, which has since expired.
Senate lawmakers have been unable to confirm ATF directors for almost ten year due to gridlock regarding gun control.
Since B. Todd Jones left in 2015., the ATF has been under a succession of acting directors.
Democrats urged Senator to confirm Mr. Dettelbach. They argued that the ATF requires permanent leadership in order for the country to combat a string mass shootings, and an increase in gun violence.
” You came here in a time of extreme anguish and anxiety. And I think we should move forward with gun violence prevention Reforms, which will increase the effectiveness of our laws and give you more tools to save individuals and communities