Steven Dettelbach, President Biden’s pick to be the top federal gun regulator, appears headed to Senate confirmation after key moderate senators announced their support Thursday, reports Politico. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) will vote for Dettelbach “because our law enforcement agencies need to be fully staffed with leaders who will combat crime and support our brave folks who keep Montana communities safe,” said a spokesman. Sen. Joe Manchin also will support Dettelbach, who would be only the second Senate-confirmed director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The White House earlier withdrew ATF nominee David Chipman, amid opposition from Sen. Angus King (I-ME). King said last month that he would support Dettelbach.
It’s not clear whether Dettelbach will receive any GOP support, but he’s now expected to have the full backing of the Senate’s 50 Democrats. Dettelbach ran for attorney general of Ohio in 2018. He supported an assault weapons ban and universal background checks, which has been a main point of GOP criticism against him. B. Todd Jones, nominated under former President Obama, is the ATF’s only Senate-confirmed director in history. The job did not require Senate approval until 2006.