Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today delivered the following remarks at the Senate Judiciary Committee markup of Steven Dettelbach to serve as the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Senator Feinstein will vote today to bring his nomination to the Senate floor.

During his May 25 confirmation hearing before the Judiciary Committee, shortly after the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Senator Feinstein questioned Dettelbach about what actions ATF could take to reduce the number of mass shootings in the United States. That exchange is available here.

Video of Senator Feinstein’s remarks today is available here and a transcript follows:

“I would like to speak in support of Steve Dettelbach’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

ATF has not had a Senate-confirmed director since 2015. Gun violence continues to plague this country and I believe that it’s critical that ATF has a strong, Senate-confirmed leader in place to ensure the agency is able to achieve its mission of protecting our communities from both violent criminals as well as the illegal use of firearms.  

Mr. Dettelbach has decades of experience serving as a federal prosecutor, including seven years as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

He knows what it takes to prosecute gun crimes. And I know the mixed view on this committee. And he has first-hand experience enforcing our nation’s gun laws, which is something we need in the ATF.

As Mr. Dettelbach told this committee in [his confirmation hearing], he will be a strong enforcer of our nation’s gun laws. That’s what this vote is all about for me.

He will coordinate with state and local law enforcement. He will work with Congress to make sure we have the information we need to do our jobs in setting our nation’s gun policy.

I believe Mr. Dettelbach is clearly qualified to lead ATF and will provide the leadership with some guts needed to effectively enforce our laws and protect Americans from gun violence.

I urge my colleagues to vote ‘aye.’”