WASHINGTON, D.C. –-(Ammoland.com)- President Joe Biden will replace Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Acting Director Marvin Richardson with United States Attorney Gary M. Restaino who will act as the interim Director.
Richardson has been a career ATF employee and took the job as the acting head of the ATF after the retirement of the former acting head Regina Lombardo. The Biden administration was frustrated with Mr. Richardson for not being aggressive enough against the firearms industry and gun rights. Richardson was seen as more anti-gun than Lombardo but didn’t go far enough on privately made firearms (PMF) for the liking of the Biden administration.
Last week, the rule against unfinished frames and receivers was unveiled in a White House Rose Garden ceremony. The rule seemed to be cobbled together and incomplete. That was most likely because the White House pushed the ATF to release the rule before the Bureau was ready. Richardson also took flak from anti-gun groups for appearing with National Shooting Sports Federation (NSSF) President Larry Keene at this year’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas. His accusers portrayed him as working too closely with the firearms industry. Mr. Richarson will remain at the ATF as the deputy director and will advise Mr. Restaino as he takes over as the top brass at the Bureau.
According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, President Biden used the Vacancies Reform Act to appoint Restaino as the interim Director of the ATF. President Biden had nominated anti-gun advocate and Giffords employee David Chipman to head the ATF last year. Chipman struggled during the nomination process due to his anti-gun advocacy and inability to define certain firearms he wanted to ban. Biden eventually pulled Mr. Chipman’s nomination when even some moderate Democrats said they wouldn’t vote to confirm the former special agent as the ATF Director.
On Monday, Biden announced the nomination of Steve Dettlebach during the unveiling of the pistol frames and receiver rule. Dettlebach was a U.S attorney for the Northern District of Ohio under former President Barak Obama for six years before leaving to go into private practice. Like Chipman, Dettlebach has embraced the gun control crowd and some of their more radical ideas.
To gun rights advocates, Biden is appointing another anti-gun advocate that will act on ideology rather than logic and reason. Dettlebach supports universal background checks and gun registrations. He also has backed gun bans and magazine size limitations. Some in the firearms industry think that Dettlebach does not understand how the business works and are worried he will implement Biden’s anti-gun ideas.
Dettlebach will face an uphill battle to get through the nomination process. No ATF Director has been confirmed since 2006. With Biden appointing anti-gun advocates to the position, it will be hard for any Senator that believes in the Second Amendment to vote for any of the President’s nominees, which makes the interim appointment of Restaino even more critical.
Restaino will most likely oversee the final version of the pistol stabilizing device rule, which is expected to be unveiled this summer. Gun rights advocates believe that the proposed rule will be more extreme under the new interim Director than it would be under Richardson.
Mr. Restaino has served as the U.S attorney for the District of Arizona since November of last year.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.