Joe Biden preparing to nominate another anti-gun activist to lead ATF

Joe Biden Steve Dettelbach ATF anti-gun

Joe Biden preparing to nominate anti-gun activist Steve Dettelbach to lead ATF

After being forced to withdraw David Chipman as his first nominee to lead the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) because his anti-gun position was so extreme that even some Democrats wouldn’t support him, Joe Biden is preparing to double down on shredding the Second Amendment by nominating ANOTHER anti-gun activist, Steve Dettelbach, for the job.

Joe Biden is expected to announce Steve Dettelbach as his new nominee as early as this month, according to multiple people familiar with the White House’s planning, based on a record that’s weaker than the already rejected Chipman (via

Deliberations are ongoing but Steve Dettelbach, a former federal attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, is seriously being considered by the White House for the post, two of those people and one official within the Senate Democratic Caucus, told POLITICO.

After withdrawing the president’s first ATF nominee, David Chipman, in September, the White House is expected to pick someone who could have a smoother path to Senate confirmation. If Biden’s next nominee is able to secure 50 votes, it would be the first time the ATF has had a permanent director since 2015.

During an unsuccessful run for attorney general of Ohio in 2018, Dettelbach called for reinstating the assault weapons ban and universal background checks on gun purchases—two positions that have sparked GOP opposition to past nominees. A U.S. attorney from 2009 to 2016, he sought a return to that post last year. He has supporters in high places. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has been pushing him as a nominee for ATF director, according to four people familiar with the conversations. (emphasis mine)

During his unsuccessful run for attorney general of Ohio, Dettelbach called for much more that assault weapon bans and universal background checks; he also ran on a few other anti-gun initiatives, including:

  • Gun confiscation for misdemeanor crimes
  • Gun confiscation for those dealing with mental health issues
  • Disarming teachers

Dettelbach’s anti-gun platform was apparently formed during his stint as a U.S. attorney based on an op-ed he co-authored for a Cleveland, OH, newspaper where he pushed for universal background checks and closing the so-called gun-show loophole.

Based on a “national alert” posted by Gun Owners of America about Joe Biden’s plan to nominate another anti-gun extremist to lead the ATF, we have another reason to be skeptical about Steve Dettelbach — the national gun registry currently being built by Biden and the ATF:

In recent months, Gun Owners of America and Representative Michael Cloud uncovered that the ATF has been maintaining an illegal turn-key national gun registry with nearly a billion Firearm Transaction Records or Form 4473s in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Indeed, federal law prohibits the centralization of ATF records, maintaining a registry of guns or gun owners, and keeping records which are searchable by name.

Interestingly, Steve Dettelbach acknowledged that this was illegal in a 2013 op-ed, stating:

“Some critics have argued that universal background checks will lead to a national gun registry. But establishing such a federal gun registry is and will remain illegal under the proposal. The existing background check system has been around for 14 years, and there’s no national registry of gun owners. Requiring a background check of gun buyers would not compromise the Second Amendment, which we respect” (emphasis added).

But as it turns out in 2005 and 2006, ATF illegally used congressional appropriations to begin converting out-of-business Firearm Transaction Records (Form 4473s) and Acquisition and Disposition Logs into a digital searchable database.

If Dettelbach truly believes that federal law prohibits the creation of a gun registry, what does he think should be done with the 920,664,765 records of guns, gun owners, and acquisition and disposition logs currently in ATF’s centralized database as of November 2021?

For some strange reason, I’m thinking his position on the issue will evolve, and he’ll suddenly have a “come to Jesus” moment about how necessary Biden’s gun registry isn’t really a gun registry at all and, therefore, should be created.

Like David Chipman before him, Steve Dettelbach is an anti-gun extremist who will work to destroy the Second Amendment, not defend it, and he should be treated accordingly.

By the way, the POLITICO story also points out how Dettelbach’s nomination could be made mute if progressives succeed in pushing Biden to do what he has promised to do — use his pen and phone to disarm America.

Biden is poised to again wade into another congressional fight over a new ATF nominee, which could elevate gun policy as the midterms near. People in the gun control advocacy community say that they would welcome just that, along with additional executive actions on gun policy too.

Gun control groups are pressing Biden to consider additional executive orders, including gun restrictions and to declare gun violence a national emergency. Many of those groups have also urged the White House to appoint a gun violence prevention czar. Such actions, advocates argue, could help boost Biden’s standing with the party’s base.

The “national emergency” angle to gun control has been brewing ever since Donald Trump abused executive power to allegedly improve border security.

While Trumpist Republicans kept themselves busy providing cover for Trump when he declared a national emergency to reallocate money to build his failed border, Nancy Pelosi put her Republican colleagues on notice that a Democrat president could use a national emergency to advance the Democrats’ anti-gun agenda.

“A Democratic president can declare emergencies, as well. So, the precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans.

“Let’s talk about today: The one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would.

“But a Democratic president can do that.” (emphasis mine)

It’s tempting to erroneously dismiss Joe Biden’s progressive anti-gun agenda under the mistaken belief that Republicans will oppose it — even though the odds are they will support it. Instead, we should let it serve to remind us of how dangerously close we are to the loss of liberty and the destruction of our once-great Republic.

One of the things we can and should do is let our representatives know that we vehemently oppose Steve Dettelbach or any other anti-gun extremist as the next ATF director. A quick and easy way to do that is to use the pre-formatted form provided by Gun Owners of America to send an email to your senators in Washington. It only takes about a minute.

You can notify your senator by clicking this link.


David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.

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