100+ mayors call for confirmation of ATF nominee

AP/Tony Dejak, file
Steve Dettelbach

More than 100 mayors are urging the Senate to confirm Steven Dettelbach to be the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). 

The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Tuesday sent a letter signed by 102 Democratic, Republican and Independent mayors to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in support of Dettelbach, saying it is “critical to have a confirmed Director” for the agency to help reduce gun violence.

“Mr. Dettelbach understands and respects true partnership. He gets that the problems facing cities are not all the same, so that a one-size-fits-all approach makes no sense,” the letter reads. “And he also has shown that he can listen to local leaders, who often know the most about solving the problems facing their citizens. That is when the ATF can be at its best.”

The mayors pointed to Dettelbach’s past experience, including his more than 20 years as a federal prosecutor and his work in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

“We need a Senate confirmed Director of the ATF. Without such a leader, the ATF must work even harder to protect the citizens we all serve. Based on his record and passion to fight crime, Steve Dettelbach should be that person. We urge his speedy confirmation as Director of the ATF,” they wrote.

When Biden nominated Dettelbach in April, he called the former federal attorney for the Northern District of Ohio “immensely qualified.”

The position has not been filled since Biden became president, with the nomination of David Chipman being pulled in September because he did not receive enough support in the Senate.

The ATF director has required confirmation from the Senate since 2013, with only one person confirmed to the role in almost 10 years.

Tags ATF Chuck Grassley Chuck Grassley David Chipman Dick Durbin Dick Durbin Steven Dettelbach
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