(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) At a recent budget hearing, the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Steve Dettelbach, admitted that he is not an expert on firearms and refused to define the term “assault weapon.”
After the director announced his support for for a national “assault weapons ban,” Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Texas, politely asked Dettelbach to provide a definition of the term in 15 seconds or less.
“I’ll go shorter than that, because honestly, if Congress wishes to take that up, I think Congress would have to do the work, but we would be there to provide technical assistance,” Dettelbach said. “I, unlike you, am not a firearms expert to the same extent as you maybe, but we have people at ATF who can talk about velocity of firearms, what damage different kinds of firearms cause, so that whatever determination you chose to make would be an informed one.”
Twitter users took Dettelbach to task for his incompetence.
“If he was an expert on firearms, he wouldn’t be Director of the ATF,” one user quipped. “The Biden administration is strongly opposed to hiring people with knowledge and expertise.”
“I don’t know what an assault weapon is but when it gets here I’m gonna hate it,” user Sarah Bellum joked.
“Just as bad as ‘what is a woman?’ and ‘I’m not a biologist,'” The Billy Clerk said, referencing Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s infamous refusal to define the word “woman” in throughout her Supreme Court hearings.
Despite Dettelbach’s self-admitted lack of expertise, the ATF has made several moves towards stricter gun control in recent months.
In March, the organization reclassified pistols with stabilizing braces, used to balance the arm when shooting, as short-barreled rifles. This move effectively turned millions of lawful gun owners into felons overnight.
The administration demanded that owners of stabilized pistols re-register their guns—which comes with hefty tax requirements—remove the brace, surrender the firearm to the ATF or completely destroy the gun.
There was little reason behind the ban aside from a vague nod towards “public safety.”