Administration to replace Acting Director of ATF

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is removing the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from his post and replacing him with the U.S. attorney in Arizona, Arizona officials said Wednesday. ‘Associated Press three people familiar with the matter.

The shakeup comes just over a week after President Joe Biden announced he was appointing Steve Dettlebach, who served as a U.S. attorney in Ohio from 2009 to 2016, to lead the agency.

In the meantime, the administration will put Gary Restaino, the U.S. attorney in Arizona, in charge while Dettlebach’s nomination works its way through the Senate, the people said.

Current acting director Marvin Richardson is being demoted to assistant director and will remain at the ATF for now to advise Restaino, the people said. The people were unable to discuss the issue publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden made the move under a federal law known as the Vacancies Reform Act, which sets conditions for temporarily filling jobs that require job confirmation. Senate.

“Of course, we are strongly advocating and lobbying for his eminently qualified nominee to be confirmed,” Psaki said.

Biden had to withdraw the nomination of his top ATF nominee, gun control lawyer David Chipman, after it stalled for months due to opposition from Republicans and some Democrats in the Senate. The candidate must obtain a simple majority to be confirmed.

Republican and Democratic administrations have failed to secure candidates for the ATF position through a politically charged process since the directorship was confirmed in 2006. Since then, only one candidate, the former U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, was confirmed. Jones moved to the Senate in 2013, but only after a six-month struggle. Jones was acting director when President Barack Obama appointed him in January 2013.

The move was first reported by The Reload, which reports on gun politics and politics.


Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.