FPC Statement on Steven Dettelbach’s Confirmation to Head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Gun News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 12, 2022) — Firearms Policy Coalition issued the following statement in response to the United States Senate’s confirmation of Steven Dettelbach as permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF):

The Senate failed the People today. The purpose of agency directors is to serve ministerial duties, not to subvert law and cheerlead the abrogation of our rights. By confirming an anti-rights zealot to helm one of the nation’s most infamous agencies, the Senate has all but promised that the ATF will continue, or even worsen, its violations of the trust of the People.

Steven Dettelbach–who aggressively promoted “universal background checks” and “assault weapon” bans–will serve as the first permanent ATF director since Byron Todd Jones, who stepped down in 2015. ATF has a storied history of civil rights violations, arming cartels, and not to mention the commission of atrocities such as those at Waco, Texas. It cannot be understated how concerning it is that an anti-rights zealot will now be taking the helm of that agency. 

With several members of the Senate absent due to varying health issues, Republicans had the power to avert Dettelbach’s confirmation. For reasons beyond our comprehension, two GOP Senators seemed to salivate at the opportunity to advance a hand-picked anti-rights activist, thus allowing him to narrowly gain confirmation in a 48-46 vote. By confirming Dettelbach, the Senate has once again failed the People in spectacular fashion.

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The Senate Republicans who made Dettelbach’s confirmation possible are:

Sen. Susan Collins (ME) and Sen. Rob Portman (OH)

FPC remains vigilant against the weaponization of federal law enforcement against peaceable people. As this new chapter of the ATF begins under Dettelbach’s leadership, FPC will use all tools available to meet any infringement of individual rights with the appropriate corresponding response.

About FPC

Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutional rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs. FPC Law (FPCLaw.org) is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the leader in the Second Amendment litigation and research space.

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