Washington, D.C. — Today, with bipartisan support, the Senate confirmed Steve Dettelbach as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Nick Wilson, senior director for Gun Violence Prevention at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:
Steve Dettelbach’s confirmation could not have come at a more pivotal moment for the gun violence prevention movement. Amid soaring rates of gun violence fueled by many states’ weakened gun laws, ATF requires strong leadership to regulate the gun industry and reduce illegal gun trafficking. A former U.S. attorney with the support of both gun violence prevention groups and key law enforcement agencies, Dettelbach is highly qualified to fulfill this critical role, which has been vacant since 2015.
Today, communities across the country are witnessing near-daily reminders of the devastating rise in gun violence, the primary driver of increasing crime nationwide. Now, under Dettelbach’s leadership, ATF will be better equipped to serve its crucial function as the only federal agency with jurisdiction over the gun industry, which has for years capitalized on fear and anxiety to rake in sky-high profits. Confirming a new ATF director has been a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s plan to address gun crime—and we applaud his efforts, and those of the Senate, to uphold that promise.
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