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EXCLUSIVE: President Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Steve Dettelbach, landed the support of the National Sheriff’s Association — a key endorsement on the eve of his Senate confirmation hearing.
The National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), in a letter obtained by Fox News, to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, offered their support for Dettelbach, saying that he would be a “value-add to local law enforcement by not only adding resources to urban areas, but rural as well.”
“Mr. Dettelbach has emphasized the importance of ‘boots on the ground’ task forces and pledged to provide forensic help to local law enforcement at crime scenes,” NSA President Sheriff Vernon Stanforth and Chairman Sheriff Jim Skinner wrote. “Further, NSA relayed its Second Amendment concerns and believes that Mr. Dettelbach has heard us and is committed to preserve, protect, and defend our Constitution, including the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
“Mr. Dettelbach has committed to regular and open communications with NSA and we urge the Senate to swiftly confirm his nomination,” Stanforth and Skinner wrote.
The endorsement from the National Sheriff’s Association comes after the Major County Sheriff’s of America also threw their weight behind Dettelbach.
Dettelbach also received endorsements from nearly every former ATF director for the last four decades.
Fox News first reported that a number of Republican-appointed federal prosecutors offered their endorsements for Dettelbach upon his nomination — including former Trump deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.
Dettelbach was unanimously confirmed on a bipartisan basis in 2009 for his position as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
The White House said Dettelbach has “a proven track record of working with federal, state, and local law enforcement to fight violent crime and combat domestic violent extremism and religious violence — including through partnerships with the ATF to prosecute complex cases and take down violent criminal gangs.”
Throughout his career, Dettelbach also worked closely with local law enforcement and community leaders to “develop and implement data-driven and neighborhood-based efforts to prevent and fight violent crime,” a White House official said.
The White House official told Fox News that Dettelbach’s “leadership and his record of innovation in promoting public safety make him ready from day one to aggressively and creatively address those pressing issues at the ATF.”
The president’s nomination of Dettelbach comes as he and his administration work to ensure that ATF “has the leadership it needs to enforce our commonsense gun laws and fight gun crime.”
Biden previously appointed David Chipman as his nominee for director of ATF in 2021. Chipman faced fierce backlash from pro-gun rights groups almost immediately following his nomination earlier this year.
The 25-year ATF veteran made a name for himself as a strong advocate for increased regulations of guns and has returned to his role as an advisor for Giffords, a gun control advocacy group named after former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona who was shot while in office.
Biden pulled Chipman’s nomination Sept. 9 after his confirmation failed to get through the Senate.
Dettelbach’s confirmation hearing to lead the ATF is set to begin Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. before the Senate Judiciary Committee.