Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to President Joe Biden to urge that the administration turn away from partisan, anti-gun rhetoric toward policies and nominees that will actually address the rise in violent crime. Grassley also raised serious concerns with the recently announced nomination of Steven Dettelbach to serve as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
“A director must, at a minimum, demonstrate that he or she respects the Second Amendment rights of Americans and can deal fairly with the firearms industry,” Grassley wrote. “…but even a cursory review of [Dettelbach’s] statements about gun ownership demonstrate a lack of awareness of the circumstances surrounding legal gun acquisition, or outright favoritism of expansive gun control.”
Grassley goes on to highlight specific instances of Dettelbach’s troubling record of comments and affiliations with anti-Second Amendment groups, including one occasion on which he apparently used a debunked statistic to push for gun control.
“The ATF Director’s roles should include having an appreciation for the role that firearms play in the lives of Americans, as well as servicing as a credible, effective liaison with the firearm business community. In this light, Mr. Dettelbach’s writings and social media activism are concerning and serve to undermine his ability to carry out those important roles,” Grassley emphasized.
The senator also goes on to slam two other moves by the White House that would potentially undermine the Second Amendment rights of Americans. The first focuses on so-called ‘ghost guns,’ in a proposed rule that would significantly expand the definition of a firearm to broaden the reach of federal government regulation.
To justify that proposal, the White House contrived a statistic suggesting that 20,000 suspected ghost guns may have been recovered in criminal investigations. But according to ATF and FBI data, ghost guns were involved in less than 0.36% of homicides.
“The Administration’s focus on ghost guns places rhetoric over fact in combating the violent crime surge…,” Grassley notes as he addresses the contrived Biden administration data. “This is merely another attempt to use misleading statistics that lack context to rally support for failing Democrat policies.”
The second Biden proposal calls for changing the 20-year record keeping requirement currently imposed on federal firearms licensees into a requirement that these records be kept forever. Grassley likens both these proposals to the Justice Department’s previous attempts to masquerade partisan gun control as a solution to violent crime.
“I strongly advise the Administration to turn back from the rhetoric on ghost guns and FFLs and actually address the policies that have truly contributed to the rise of violent crime in this country,” Grassley concludes.