Washington, D.C., July 12, 2022 - Today, Brady applauds the U.S. Senate for confirming Steve Dettlebach to serve as Director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This vote makes Dettelbach the first Senate-confirmed director to lead the agency since 2015, an essential step to modernize the agency and robustly enforce the nation’s gun laws to address gun trafficking and reduce gun violence.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“Steve Dettelbach is a proven leader who is ready to take charge of ATF immediately and set about modernizing the agency to more effectively accomplish its mission. This vote comes just weeks after President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law, and states passed or signed 18 gun violence prevention bills into law. These successive victories are not only a win for the gun violence prevention movement, but clear evidence that actions taken by activists over many years and the work to elect gun violence prevention majorities in both chambers of Congress and a proven champion in the White House have paid off. In less than two years, we have seen transformative change on this issue, from unprecedented funding for community violence prevention programs, to attention to the supply of crime guns from the Department of Justice, to new federal laws to stop firearms from reaching individuals who should not have them. This confirmation is the latest proof that elections matter and that, while more action is needed, we can and will continue to make progress to end gun violence.”

Senior Counsel and Director of Brady’s Combating Crime Guns Program Josh Scharff shared:

“A Senate-confirmed ATF Director is an essential component to successfully addressing gun trafficking and reducing gun violence. Steve Dettelbach will be an excellent leader of ATF, and will quickly and effectively modernize ATF to catalyze the agency’s public safety mission. This includes implementing the changes necessary to reduce gun trafficking and improve ATF’s gun industry oversight functions, in order to stop gun violence at the source by addressing the supply of crime guns. This is a historic day.”

Why a Senate-Confirmed Director is Important:

The ATF Director plays a critical role in preventing gun trafficking, the unlawful movement of guns from the legal market to the criminal one, a major method of obtaining firearms for people who cannot legally purchase or possess them. Stemming the flow of trafficked weapons will slow the flooding of guns onto American streets, enabling communities to concentrate on community violence prevention and intervention programs. Of the many actions the Director can take, the Director can:

  • Interpret the phrase “statistical aggregate data” in the Tiahrt Amendments to include the aggregate number of crime gun traces on a per dealer basis, and to include information about the largest crime gun suppliers in the annual state trafficking reports.

  • Assess the terms of all MOUs with state and local law enforcement agencies regarding the use of eTrace data and ensure that no provisions place any restrictions on state and local use of trace data that are not necessary to comply with the language of Tiahrt.

  • Require all states to report multiple sales of long guns so that it can identify traffickers and the dealers that facilitate gun trafficking.

  • Permit entities with eTrace logins to share trace data across state lines.

  • Prioritize crime gun suppliers, non-compliant FFLs, and other high-risk FFLs for more frequent compliance inspections, and to formally track and report its progress on an annual basis

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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