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Joe Biden’s New ATF Nominee Is An Anti-gun Extremist

Steve Dettelbach Supports Gun Bans And Demomizes Gun Owners

On April 11th, President Joe Biden held a Rose Garden news conference where he outlined new regulations on combating so-called “ghost guns.” In addition, he announced that he would be appointing former U.S. Attorney and former Democratic nominee for Ohio Attorney General Steve Dettelbach to be his director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Dettlebach was nominated to serve as director of the agency after the Biden administration was forced to pull the appointment of their previous nominee for the agency, David Chipman. Chipman was defeated in part because of pressure from gun owners who mobilized against what they saw as his public support for increased gun control.

Gun owners will need to mobilize again because Dettlebach is just as extreme as Chipman was on gun control. For starters, when Dettlebach ran for Ohio Attorney General in 2018, he was endorsed by the anti-gun organization Everytown for Gun Safety.

Dettelbach is running on a platform that includes strengthening enforcement of gun safety laws in Ohio, and he supports closing the background check loophole and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. His opponent, Dave Yost, is endorsed by the NRA.” the organization said in a press release. “Everytown is proud to endorse Steve Dettelbach, who understands that attorneys general have a crucial role to play in enforcing and defending strong gun violence prevention laws. Dettelbach will keep Ohioans safe by working hard to keep guns away from people with dangerous histories.”

During his campaign for Ohio Attorney General, Dettelbach campaigned in favor of a ban on commonly owned semi-automatic rifles and standard capacity magazines and for so-called universal background checks, which are unenforceable without a gun registry. Dettelbach also opposed a proposal to allow teachers and school administrators who are former police and military to carry weapons in schools.

I think this is a politician’s plan, quite frankly; it doesn’t protect people in any meaningful way. It’s more than a day late and much more than a dollar short,” Dettelbach said in an interview in 2018 about the plan to arm teachers.

In addition to advocating extreme and ineffective gun control measures, Dettelbach has also used his Twitter account to urge extreme positions on the issues. In 2019, Dettelbach urged the indictment of then President Donald Trump, and retweeted a petition from a left-wing organization that was gathering petition signatures from former U.S. Attorneys who were urging that.

Meanwhile, Dettelbach sent out a tweet attacking then presidential candidate Donald Trump and his policies on immigration. He wondered if the late legendary boxer Muhammad Ali would be banned from entering the United States by Trump.

Perhaps Dettelbach should not be practicing law, because he should have realized that Ali was an American-born man and could not be legally barred from entering the United States, no matter what Trump’s immigration policies were.

It’s clear that Dettelbach is less of a neutral enforcer of the law and more of a political animal seeking to win over Democratic Party power brokers. In fact, the concerns over Dettelbach being a political insider led the family of Tamir Rice, the young man who was killed by a Cleveland, Ohio police officer in 2014, to oppose Dettelbach’s reappointment as U.S. Attorney in 2021.

Dettelbach may not be as openly aligned with anti-gun organizations as David Chipman was, but he still has your rights in his crosshairs. Gun owners were able to beat Joe Biden’s last radical anti-gun ATF director nominee. Gun owners will have to mobilize and pressure our Senators to reject Steve Dettelbach. Once again, our constitutional rights depend on it.

Kevin Boyd is a fellow at the Heller Foundation. You can follow him on Twitter @TheKevinBoyd and you can subscribe to his new Substack