The struggle is real. ATF Agent Chris Bort fails to disassemble a Glock—a Glock for crying out loud—as Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan an a just-as-clueless ATF Director Steve Dettelbach look on.
Previous Post
Next Post

It turns out Joe Biden’s second choice to lead the ATF, Steve Dettelbach, wasn’t lying when he told his Senate confirmation committee that he wasn’t a firearms expert.

Dettelbach appeared Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation, accompanied by Agent Chris Bort, acting chief of ATF’s Firearms Ammunition Technology Division, whom the ATF Director described as one of his “leading experts.” From a public relations perspective, neither man did their agency any good. From a civil rights perspective, the interview was extremely worrisome.

As someone who commands armed agents and a take-no-prisoners SWAT team, Dettelbach demonstrated zero command presence. He came across as a typical up-tight bureaucrat who likely irons his PJs before he goes to bed. Rather than a top cop, he looks like the type of guy you’d expect Golden Corral to send to your table after you complained about a roach in the coleslaw.

Dettelbach appeared very nervous, even though this was a friendly show-and-tell interview and not a hostile interrogation. He gestured constantly with his rat-like hands and even started repeating himself, a lot. During the 21-minute interview, Dettelbach used the word right a total of 37 times. In fact, my good friend Mark Walters, host of Armed American Radio, turned Dettelbach’s nervous tic into a drinking game, jokingly telling his listeners they should take a drink every time the ATF Chief uttered the word, right?

Agent Bort wasn’t much better. He struggled mightily just to remove the slide from a Glock – from several Glocks, actually. It’s not as if his boss handed him an 8mm Nambu, a Luger or a Broomhandle. You’d think ATF’s leading expert could remove the slide from the country’s leading pistol.

CBS host Margaret Brennan was quite reasonably concerned for her safety when she saw the table covered in guns that Dettelbach and his leading expert had assembled.

“They’re not loaded?” she asked.

“They’re not loaded,” Agent Chris assured her. “We checked them all before you came.”

“Okay,” Brennan said nervously. In my humble opinion, she should have demanded some plates.

Dettelbach explained that the guns were grouped in pairs. One of the firearms was an NFA weapon, its partner, he said, was an “attempt to get around NFA that ATF has been dealing with through rulemaking and enforcement.”

Agent Bort pointed to a select-fire AK, which was paired with a semi-auto AK equipped with a bump-stock.

“These two things are the same. They operate the same. Both of them can shoot right through this 75-round clip,” Dettelbach told Brennan, while holding up a 75-round drum magazine, which Agent Fort had described just seconds earlier as a 75-round drum magazine. Someone should explain to the good director the difference between a clip and a magazine, and that there’s a world of difference between a select-fire AK and one with a bump-stock.

Next, Dettelbach showed off a 9mm SBR and a similar weapon equipped with a pistol brace.

“The two weapons are designed to be fired from the shoulder, identically,” he said. “So, we’re treating them the same. That’s all that rule says.”

Dettelbach never mentioned that the manufacturers of the pistol brace, which was originally designed for disabled veterans, received determination letters from his ATF that said the brace was not subject to NFA. He never told Brennan that if 40 million pistol braces were suddenly classified as Short Barrel Rifles by ATF, their owners could have faced federal felonies if they didn’t immediately register their weapons as SBRs. He never disclosed how ATF’s zeal to write and enforce its own laws began in earnest under the Biden-Harris administration, or how the ATF – under his leadership – is getting its butt kicked in court as a result.

The two feds showed 3D printed auto sears for the AR and a Glock switch, which converts a semi-automatic Glock to full-automatic. They talked about how easy the sears were to print, but never mentioned they are also highly regulated and illegal to possess under most circumstances.

Picking up one of the ARs, Agent Bort said “this is a privately made firearm,” which his boss quickly corrected. “That’s also a ‘ghost gun,’” Dettelbach said.

After turning their attention to a privately made Glock clone, which had a switch added to the slide, Dettelbach said, “When you have a switch, when you have one of these firearms that’s converted to being fully automatic, that’s not a shoulder firearm, right, that’s a pistol like this, right, I’ve seen these fellows fire them at the range. There’s a huge kick-up. You see people inadvertently shoot up the ceiling at the range, right.”


Throughout the entire interview, there was an M249 SAW with a para stock sitting on the table, perched on its bipod. It was never mentioned. If I had to guess, I’d say it was included because it looks lethal and, to the uninitiated, scary. The SAW could have been a metaphor for this entire dog-and-pony show. Clearly, it was Dettelbach’s intent to scare viewers – to misinform them of the dangers bump-stocks, pistol braces and “ghost guns” pose. Thankfully, his message missed the mark. All he accomplished was reinforcing what’s becoming a frequently asked question: Do we really need the ATF?


Watch the whole sad spectacle here.

Lee Williams for the SAF Investigative Journalism Project

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. I would like to laugh at the sheer stupidity they displayed. I’d like to but I can’t because of the sheer terror I feel that these two are in positions of real power.

      • I figure you know this, but think it worth repeating – the show of incompetence is deliberate, to include the people making the apparently satirical appointments.

        They want a nation of bobbleheads that won’t question them even if they look and act like clowns and say “2+2=3, so jump off that cliff” – and they are following historically proven techniques to get there.

        Yeah, the above is just an opinion, I can’t prove a thing. (Rolls eyes.)

    • It isnt just the two ignorant ATF agents, it’s the woman interviewing the two morons. She is as complicit in the sham that is the ATF and their aim to ban the 2nd amendment. The viewers of FAce the Nation? Just as ignorant.

  2. Steve Dettelbach is an administrator type. Although he should have a basic understanding of the stuff his agency ‘regulates’ and the agency he is so badly administering – one of his main responsibility for ‘administration’ is making sure his ‘experts’ know their stuff. When Agent Bort didn’t even know how to remove the slide from Glocks just how much of an ‘expert’ was he?

    Dettelbach is not only a failure as an administrator, hes an idiot just like his Agent Bort.

    “The two weapons are designed to be fired from the shoulder, identically,’ he said. ‘So, we’re treating them the same. That’s all that rule says.”

    How odd, since in court that’s not what the ATF (DOJ) lawyer said. And no, that’s not all the unconstitutional rule says.

    So, although we already knew this, Dettelbach is a liar too.

    “These two things are the same. They operate the same. Both of them can shoot right through this 75-round clip,’ Dettelbach told Brennan, while holding up a 75-round drum magazine, which Agent Fort had described just seconds earlier as a 75-round drum magazine.”

    Oh boy! The “two things” are not the “same” according to you, the ATF’s filings, and ATF (DOJ) lawyer in court. The ATF (DOJ) lawyer in court, and you also, and your filings have said the bump-stock is a machine gun and a machine gun is not a semi-auto only firearm. If the bump stock firearm is the same as the semi-auto firearm compared to then why are you lying in your filings and in court?

    The reality is, this bump stock at odds in your current recent SCOTUS case appearance does not make a semi-auto firearm a ‘machine gun’ under federal law or otherwise.

    And…. its a magazine idiot, your own Agent Fort told you that just several seconds before. Its a magazine, not a clip.

    This is a case of incompetence and malicious intent agenda deceiving the public.

    • My info is that the original usage had clip as a detachable subset of magazine, and if you wanted stripper clips. you had to specify “stripper clips”. Current usage came about because people, especially military types, were ordering BAR clips and getting M1 stripper clips, and vice versa.

      So to avoid confusion, the quartermasters decreed that calling a detachable box mag (eg, BAR, M1 Carbine or .45 mags) a “clip” was hence forward a strict no-no. Got that from a guy who was there, from 1905 to the 50s.

      It’s an obsolete rule, really – given the rarity of stripper clips…

      That said, drum mags have never been called clips, afaik.

      Further – the show of incompetence is deliberate, of course. They want a nation of bobbleheads that won’t question them if they say “2+2=3, so jump off that cliff”, and they are following historically proven techniques to get there.

      • Well shoot, XZX, thanks for that, I have wondered for decades why “clip” and “magazine” were interchangeable while I was growing up, then it suddenly became a capital crime to interchange them, without any sign of explanation. You have cleared that up for me.

    • “This is a case of incompetence and malicious intent agenda deceiving the public.”

      The russian army has a commisar at every level. The duty of a commisar is not to be an expert at waging war, but a political flunky ensuring the party line is promoted and executed in every unit. The actual unit commander/senior reports to the commisar, in that a commisar can have a military officer dismissed for being “politically unreliable”. The same is true for almost all the administrative state in the US.

      • well yeah, they are Marxist soci – alist (which is another term for communism. its two sides of the same coin to begin but its goal is to become totalitarian communism). And in marxist socia – lism you have ‘commisars’ (an example we see today is the ‘diversity officer’ in HR departments at some woke corporations who oversee the DEI program which is a Marxist social- lism thing under another name)

        • “(an example we see today is the ‘diversity officer’ in HR departments at some woke corporations who oversee the DEI program which is a Marxist social- lism thing under another name)”

          Excellent point, there.

  3. Gun Control zealots looking like the kkk wanting to keep Blacks disarmed and nazis wanting to keep Jews unarmed. These guns America are the icky guns the slaves cannot own, trust us to keep you safe. The clown show stops in November only if you vote…

    TRUMP 2024.

      • initially she seems scared to death of all that firepower…but as it goes on she seems to get more comfortable and inquisitive…not sure why the SAW was there…and it never gets explained

        • I’ve been reading this website for almost a decade. The woman makes my eyes roll harder than miner and dacian and that is a feat. 99% of her comments can be summed up as MUH RACISM.

          As far as being elitist, deal with it.

        • That’s why I think Deb is a guy, everybody knows a dumb old girl dont know nothing about gunms.

      • You should shut up- your leftist slip is showing. She adds a lot to the conversation/debate here. It’s obvious that you cannot stand opinions that differ from your own swamp attitudes.

  4. What is sad is not one or group of pro-2A members of congress has sent a letter to Dettelbach demanding answers for this terrible display of misinformation? We should be controlling the narrative as the pro-2A side with the correct information and not promoting lies to sway the naive public on firearms. Invite the same reports back and explain what they got wrong in that televised segment. Put our message out there, instead of anti-2A propaganda that is being pushed by this administration.

    • “What is sad is not one or group of pro-2A members of congress has sent a letter to Dettelbach demanding answers for this terrible display of misinformation?”

      Dettelbach pretty much answered with this show of incompetence and malicious intent agenda deceiving the public.

  5. Too bad they didn’t set up that display in my front yard – then forget to take it with them. Some of those weapons, I wouldn’t really want – others, I’d give Dettelbach’s left and right nuts to have. Of course, if I used Dettelbach’s testicles for trade, I’d promptly be arrested for counterfeiting.

  6. Watching that left me with so many questions, but you’re all asking most of them, so I’ll just ask the one that was most obvious to me: what the hell is wrong with Steve Dettelbach?

    He looks like he has some sort of developmental disorder. The way he moves and holds his hands is just plain weird. In the first part of the video he was holding his hands out like Emperor Palpatine. And his hunched back and squashed neck, it just seems like there’s something wrong with him.

    I have a severely autistic relative, and frankly Dettelbach’s physical presentation reminded me a lot of him. If you want to see what that looks like, check out “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”; DiCaprio did an excellent job in that film of portraying that character.

    Clearly Dettelbach isn’t communication-compromised like many/most severe autistics, his intelligence seems to be clearly present (even if misinformed). I’m not saying that whatever’s wrong with him is compromising his ability to do his job, I’m just saying — what the hell is wrong with him? There’s something off there.

    One thing I will say for Dettelbach, I did appreciate how he repeatedly referred back to and deferred to Congress. He didn’t present himself and his agency as some grand fiefdom of his own making. I wish he’d actually conduct enforcement operations in that same way, but the fact is that Congress is supposed to make the rules, and he’s supposed to enforce them, so at least he paid lip service to the way things are supposed to work.

    • “One thing I will say for Dettelbach, I did appreciate how he repeatedly referred back to and deferred to Congress”

      he wasn’t deferring to congress, listen carefully…he was trying to make it look like he can’t do his tyranny task because of congress. he was blaming congress.

      • In short, Dettelbach referring to congress was expressing frustration that ATF doesn’t get to make the guns control laws.

  7. And dacian is furiously fapping away at the thought of being their enforcer, inquisitor, and executioner.

  8. Good for me but no for thee. The clowns in washington fear us so they want us as defenseless as possible. they are idiots, very dangerous idiots.

  9. Why on earth would anyone waste the time and money to put a bumpstock on an AK ???
    By carefully vibrating your finger on the trigger, you can produce near machine gun firing rates.
    The angle of rotation of the trigger between hammer release and reset is tiny.

  10. Just because they can’t disassemble a gunm doesn’t mean they do not know how to disassemble a Constitutional Right.

    • Good one possum. Glad to see you back sniffing around. You seem a bit tamer, somebody train their possum?

  11. @motomike42
    “I think the proper term is “clipazine” Babylon Bee told me so.”

    Think it was Feinstein or Pelosi who delivered the nomenclature when testifying about weapons of war with “a thingy in the back that goes up”.

  12. And also to note Dettelbach once again trotted out this false narrative, lying to the public once again. He said:

    “The leading cause of death of children in the United States is firearms violence, right,’ Director Dettelbach said. ‘Not cancer, not cars. Guns.’ ”

    That’s patently false. It has been proven false many times by many sources, even the anti-gun Washington Post finally admitted it was false, its even been debunked by the very source study from which the anti-gun created this lie. To make the claim, all anti-gun and the anti-gun orgs, the White House, Biden, Harris, and now Director Dettelbach are falsely including people age 18 and 19. But 18 and 19-year-olds are adults and not children. When 18 and 19 year olds are removed, for children age 17 and younger motor vehicles deaths (broadly defined) are still the number one cause of death of children just as it has been for the last 6 decades.

    And also, lets not forget that a large number of those deaths are due to criminal gang activity mostly with gang-shooting-gang but a lot of other crime too. These are the very people the democrats will not take off the street, will not arrest and prosecute, and even when the overall rare arrest and prosecution happens they receive light penalty and over 90% are released back into society where they re-offend – all due to left wing tyranny democrat progressive ‘justice reform’ policies or some other excuse especially the tried-n-true emotion cry of ‘racism’.

    • For example… Mini Tyrant’s Admin RELEASING “Youth With Guns” Back On The Street Due To OVERCROWDING.

  13. I do notthink it helpd=sanybody to say things are ILOLEGAL when they are so obviously either obtainable or homemade on a LASER PRINTER, Neither do I think that it’s relevant that a Legislator cannot field strip any partcular Firearm Not when he or she couldbe tught how inm afew minutes . Just becaus I can field strip aBROWNING ] my personalside arm for may years] dos NOT mean that I can be confident to do the same with a modern GLOCK without skilled instruction Because I could probably still stroip and assemble BEEN GUN Lee-Enfield, Sten .Stirling. SA80 or a UK 7.62 NATO SLR Blindfold does NOT mean that I would expect you to do it.
    Please appreciate that these legislators are STATE EMPLOYEES merely doing the jod they are employed or elected to do. It’s not PERSONAL and they can only act and work within the law

    • Prince Albert the Fake-Limey, Fake-Military, wanking poofter,

      First of all, your basic premises are not just flawed, they are STUPIDLY flawed. Yes, the entire rationale for “government agencies” was to bring in “expertise” to administer specific laws and areas of commerce. The whole PRESUMPTION was that regulators would be knowledgeable about WTF it was they were supposed to regulate.

      Would I insist that a Secretary of Transportation (just as ONE example of Biden Administration idiocy) be an expert on all modes of transportation? No, but it does require something more than “I like choo-choo trains” (which is LITERALLY the only qualification Secretary Pete Bootyjudge ever had). More importantly, you are equally wrong about, for example, firearm disassembly. Do I think knowing how to disassemble/clean one gun means you can do it for all guns? Oh HELL no – but it does mean you should not fumble around on camera (for an interview you had DAYS to practice for) like an idiot, for a very simple process. ANY public speaker knows, IF you’re going to do a demonstration, you practice that sh*t until you get it right.

      The interviewer was an inept idiot, Dettelback was an inept idiot, and his person of hench was an inept idiot. Just take the “L” and S T F U.

      As for your alleged skills at firearm maintenance, I call bullshit. Aren’t you the guy who claims that “no one needs more than 40 rounds” (which is not even a standard infantry load out, you complete choad)?? Yeah, your “expertise” is (i) entirely fictional, and (ii) pathetically transparent as such whenever you open your lying, fake-Limey pie hole.

      P*ss off, Prince Albert, you lying fraud.

    • They make their own “laws” and enforce them on the rest of us. This is a violation of the US Constitution in several ways.

  14. Notice how the scared shitless reporter was attracted to bright shiny thingy…..she wants one now. Doodlebug, tell her how the ATF ran guns across the border to cartel, enabling Border Patrol agent Terry to be killed.
    Where are the NFA tax stamps for those NFA items that Doodlebug and flunky have possession of there?

  15. It is unfortunate for the people who read this news here, including me, but the Liberal and Far Left Zealots who watch Face the Nation are not just dumber than Dettelbach, they are Rabid followers of the Gun Control Agenda (aka Marxist-Maoist Communists), and they don’t care what the Truth is, or Reality, they want to live in their fantasy world that the Democrats, the Elites and the Far Left have created for them to voluntarily imprison themselves in.
    My Mom, Sister, Uncles and Aunts, and every single one of their friends, are those whom I just spoke of.
    Time to Rise Up!

  16. this was disturbing if not funny; but just like any government agency…you don’t have to be an expert or even a brash novice to work in an agency.
    take most D.O.T. or DMV employees that test Commercial Drivers…most have not even step foot into a CMV.

  17. Mr. Director made a really good choice of his expert assistant. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

  18. If we expect the Attorney General to be a lawyer, the Surgeon General to be a doctor, etc., etc., it seems to me to be reasonable for the head of the ATF to be someone familiar with firearms.

    But anyone actually familiar with firearms is EEEEEEEEVILLLLLL and would never be put in charge of anything in a Democratic administration.

Comments are closed.