Senate Confirms Steve Dettelbach as ATF Director

Written by Orchid

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July 12, 2022

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White text atop red background next to photo of Steve Dettelbach shaking hands with President Joe Biden

On Tuesday, the Senate announced its confirmation of Steve Dettelbach as ATF Director following a close, bipartisan 48-46 vote. Appointed by President Joe Biden after withdrawing his nomination of David Chipman last year, Dettelbach is only the second appointee to be approved since the Bureau’s leader became a Senate-confirmed position in 2006. 

Prior to Dettelbach, the only permanent ATF director to be approved was B. Todd Jones, who was confirmed under former President Barack Obama in 2013 before later resigning in 2015.

U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio during Obama’s presidency, Dettelbach supported universal background checks and an assault weapons ban during a failed bid to become Ohio attorney general in 2018. However, he stated during confirmation hearings, “politics can play no role in law enforcement; none at all.”

“I can think of no better way to support law enforcement, to reject hate, and to keep Americans safe from violent crime, than for the entire Senate to confirm Steve Dettelbach as ATF Director,” said Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown on Tuesday.

Following the announcement, the president released a statement on Dettelbach’s confirmation.

“The Senate just took an important, bipartisan step by confirming Steve Dettelbach, an extraordinarily qualified and decorated career prosecutor with strong support across the law enforcement community.

“As ATF Director, Steve will play a leading role in ensuring robust implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and driving forward other executive actions to fight crime and save lives.”

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