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House Extremists Spend the Week Attacking ATF’s Lifesaving Work


This week, the House Judiciary Committee — chaired by Congressman Jim Jordan — held two different hearings attacking the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and its director, Steven Dettelbach. Gun extremists on the committee used these hearings to peddle lies about the ATF and its newly finalized rule which makes clear that individuals who engage in commercial sales of firearms must get dealer licenses and run background checks. 

Here’s the truth: While extreme lawmakers who want to abolish ATF spent their time spreading absurd conspiracies about law enforcement potentially being behind the pipe bombs outside RNC and DNC headquarters on January 6th, Director Dettelbach and ATF remain focused on protecting the public from violent crime and combating gun trafficking.

“This week, Congressman Jim Jordan became a hero to gun traffickers and other violent criminals, who will reap the biggest benefit from his reckless attacks on ATF,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Under the leadership of Steve Dettelbach, ATF has contributed to a historic drop in violent crime, and any attempt to sabotage the agency is a direct threat to both law enforcement and public safety.”

Over the last few years, ATF has worked alongside local law enforcement partners to oversee a drop in violent crime and take action to track and prevent gun trafficking. Its newly finalized rule is a game changer — it will thwart criminals, save lives, and serve as a testament to the Biden-Harris Administration’s steadfast commitment to keeping communities safe from gun violence. Closing loopholes that allow domestic abusers and other prohibited persons to avoid background checks was a key bipartisan agreement in 2022’s historic Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was supported by 14 House Republicans and 15 Republican senators.

Full funding and strong support for ATF is mission-critical, but gun extremists in Congress have called to defund and even abolish ATF altogether. In March, Congress passed a spending bill that slashed nearly $50 million from ATF’s budget, undermining the nation’s leading law enforcement agency when it comes to protecting the public from gun violence and solving gun crimes.