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The Biden Administration is Pushing Hard to Get Their Man Installed at ATF While They Still Can


Steve Dettelbach
Steve Dettelbach (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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The White House withdrew its initial [ATF director] nominee, David Chipman, a senior policy adviser at the anti-violence group Giffords, last fall after he faced resistance from King and further hurdles with other moderate Democrats. Brown said there were “maybe three people” opposed to Chipman at the time.

Manchin confirmed he had a “problem” with Chipman’s nomination and said of the ATF job: “Some people inside the system that I heard were really good. But you know, you have to get someone who understands the people on the front line, what we are asking ATF members to do.”

King said he’s reviewing Dettelbach’s record, and Tester plans to press the nominee on his opposition to assault weapons and whether that extends to other firearms.

“He’s opposed to assault weapons, and I’m going to ask him: How did he formulate that idea, why? Does it have any impact on other guns? Are there other things we need to know about him that he would be opposed to?” Tester said.

— Marianne Levine, Burgess Everett and Laura Barron-Lopez in Biden races to achieve the near-impossible: A permanent point man on guns

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