The United States Senate confirmed Steve Dettelbach on July 12 as President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
In a 48-46 vote, the Senate approved Dettelbach’s nomination, making him only the second Senate-confirmed ATF director.
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown called the confirmation “another important step in protecting all Americans from violent gun crimes.”
“There is no better person for the role than Steve Dettelbach… with the experience and the record to combat violent crime and keep Americans safe,” Brown said on the Senate floor.
Dettelbach’s confirmation comes in the wake of a series of recent mass shootings, including at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
Dettelbach’s confirmation also came in less than a month after Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — the first major federal legislation on gun safety in nearly 30 years.
In a statement, Biden thanked the Senate for confirming Dettelbach.
“Following the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, today’s vote is another important sign that both parties can come together to support law enforcement and stand up against the horrific scourge of gun violence,” Biden said.
Before Dettelbach, the only permanent ATF director was B. Todd Jones, who was confirmed in 2013 under former President Barack Obama and left the post in 2015.
ATF director nominations did not require Senate approval until 2006.
Former President Donald Trump withdrew Chuck Canterbury as his nomination for the role in 2020 after facing concerns from conservatives.
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