News release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2022
CONTACT: Emilee Cantrell | emilee.cantrell@mt.gov

HELENA – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and 14 other state attorneys general in a letter today urged the U.S. Senate to reject Steven Dettelbach’s confirmation as director of the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), citing his history of anti-gun rights activism.

“In recent years, the ATF has proposed various rules that over-step the authority Congress has granted it, threatening those jobs and the rights of our constituents,” Knudsen and the other attorneys general wrote. “So far in his confirmation process, Mr. Dettelbach hasn’t indicated that he would attempt to rein in any of these overreaching actions. And given his previously expressed gun restriction predilections, it appears he would likely continue or even accelerate the ATF’s attempts to restrict Americans’ rights and erode constitutional restraints on federal power.”

“As Americans continue to suffer from the crime wave, the ATF desperately needs a director who will crack down on violent criminals and organizations—not one who will pursue an anti-gun political agenda under the guise of law enforcement,” the letter stated.

Attorneys general from Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia also signed onto Knudsen’s letter.

Click here to view the letter.

Last year, Attorney General Knudsen led a coalition opposing David Chipman’s confirmation as director of the ATF for his threat to Americans’ right to keep and bear arms, a nominee that President Biden was ultimately forced to withdraw. -END-