Senate confirms first ATF director since 2013

Tuesday’s Senate vote confirmed the nomination of President Joe Biden, Steve Dettelbach, to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Senate confirmed him with a 48-46 vote, making Dettelbach the first ATF director to be confirmed since 2015, AP News reported. His nomination was supported by Susan Collins, Maine, and Rob Portman, Ohio.

The president withdrew his nomination for former David Chipman, who made misleading claims regarding the Waco operation. He was promoting restrictions on assault weapons. In addition, he allegedly claimed that black ATF agents had cheated an exam in order to be admitted to the agency.

Former U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones was the last director to be confirmed to the agency in 2013, AP reported. He left the position in 2015.

The former ATF acting Director, Marvin Richardson was replaced by Gary Restaino (a U.S. Attorney in Arizona), the outlet said. Richardson is currently the deputy director of ATF.

Dettelbach was confirmed by Democratic leaders, gun control supporters and others.

“After many years of obstruction by gun lobby, the Senate has finally confirmed Steve Dettelbach as the permanent director for the ATF,” said Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader. “@SenateDems will continue fighting for commonsense guns safety provisions that save lives, and take meaningful actions to keep communities safer,” Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader said.

After years of obstruction by gun lobbyists, the Senate has finally approved a permanent director to head the ATF’s Steve Dettelbach. @SenateDems will keep fighting for commonsense gun safety provisions to save lives and take meaningful action to keep communities safe.

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— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 12, 2022

For years, efforts to block confirming an ATF director have hampered our efforts to reduce gun violence.

Today, that all changes. Congratulations to Steve Dettelbach on his historic confirmation as @ATFHQ director. He is a great person and I am looking forward to joining him in protecting our communities.

— Rep. Mike Thompson (@RepThompson) July 12, 2022

BREAKING: The Senate just confirmed Steve Dettelbach – a son of Ohio and a career public servant – to lead @ATFHQ.

With his record and experience, he is ready to fight violent crime and keep Americans secure.

Congratulations, Steve. https://t.co/bNZkjxG6bs

— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) July 12, 2022

The gun lobby fought tooth & nail to try to stop Steve Dettelbach from being confirmed as head of @ATFHQ. They were defeated. They lost.

— Senator Jack Reed (@SenJackReed) July 12, 2022

A gun rights advocacy group, Gun Owners of America, sent a letter Tuesday urging the Senate to vote against Dettelbach’s confirmation, citing his support for stricter gun control and an assault weapons ban as being a potential infringement to citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

Steve Dettelbach, an anti-gun partisan and someone who has no firearm knowledge is zealous for violating the Second Amendment. “Gun Owners of America” sent a Tuesday urging the Senate to reject Dettelbach’s confirmation. On the record, Dettelbach acknowledged that he had never owned a firearm. How can a director lead an agency when he has no experience in the field?”

Dettelbach served as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio under former President Barack Obama’s administration from 2009 to 2016, the outlet reported. The outlet reported that he was also the chairman of the subcommittee on civil rights under the advisory board of ex-attorney general Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch.

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