Steve Dettelbach, Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, was unable define the term “assault weapons” during a Tuesday hearing of his agency’s budget request before a House Appropriations Subcommittee.
Dettelbach informed Republican Texas Rep. Jake Ellzey he expressed his support for a ban on assault weapons in Ohio when he unsuccessfully ran to become state attorney general in 2018. He noted that the Biden Administration endorses the instituting of “an assault weapon ban.” Ellzey then asked Dettelbach how he would define “an assault weapon” in just 15 seconds.
Dettelbach added, “I will be shorter, because frankly, if Congress wants to take this up, then I think Congress will have to do that work. We would provide technical assistance.” Dettelbach said, “I am not as knowledgeable about firearms as you are, but ATF has people who can discuss the damage that different types of firearms do. So, whatever decision you make will be informed.”
Ellzey claimed to have some experience in self-defense and weaponry, citing the fact that he is a 20-year veteran of gun ownership and a former military officer. Dettelbach was confirmed by the Senate to be ATF’s new director in July, even though 15 state attorneys general said he would “merely rubber-stamp” Biden’s “partisan antigun platform.”