This past July, Steven Dettelbach became the first permanent director that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and explosives has had in seven years. Dettlebach was not President Biden’s first choice, but he turned out to be the nominee who the Senate was willing to confirm. You can read about that here.
The ATF has always been a federal agency under attack from the NRA and the gun lobby. President Obama also had trouble staffing the Bureau. You can read my blog post about that, from 2013, here.
Dettelbach’s appointment pleased gun control and safety advocates who also had a victory with modest gun legislation passing this past summer. President Biden’s agenda for the ATF under Dettelbach includes cracking down on ghost guns and better oversight of federally licensed gun dealers.
This past week news broke that indicates Biden and his new director are making a difference. The revocation of guns has occurred at the highest rate since 2006. You can read more about the ATF’s work here. Hopefully, both the appointment of Dettelbach and President Biden’s commitment to meaningful gun control will lead to a reduction in gun deaths and mass killings.