Steven M. Dettelbach
Biden ATF nominee Steven Dettelbach (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director Steven Dettelbach spoke at length with The Washington Post about his responsibilities at the helm of the federal agency charged with overseeing the firearm industry.

The Post is unabashedly antigun and pushes gun control propaganda whenever possible. During the discussion, however, Dettelbach took the opportunity to highlight the firearm industry’s efforts to reduce crimes committed with firearms and lower firearm accidents, praising the ATF’s two-decades long partnership with NSSF on firearm safety initiatives.

The ATF’s own data, and data from the firearm industry, show the industry’s Real Solutions. initiatives have a positive impact on communities, all while protecting the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. It was a welcomed plug by the director on the efforts by the industry to reduce criminal firearm acquisition and misuse.

‘Important Work’

When questioned about rancor and the heightened temperature in today’s political discourse, Dettelbach brought the conversation back to his role and what is most important: keeping Americans safe.

“You know, things are at very high temperature now… Everybody ascribes to everybody else, you know, horrible motives, and there’s a lot of very heated rhetoric,” the director said. “I was in St. Louis this week with–doing an event with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, right? That’s the organization that represents the gun industry. It’s about educating firearms dealers to not allow straw purchases to happen.”

Dettelbach continued, “So, we found something to work on together to help protect people. Maybe there’s a lot of disagreement between different groups of people. But my hope is that we can keep things calm and lower the temperature and try to work on solutions together.”

The event in St. Louis the director referenced was a public education and media campaign announcement led and funded by the firearm industry, in partnership with ATF and the Department of Justice (DOJ), called Don’t Lie for the Other Guy™, to remind the public it’s a crime to illegally straw purchase a gun for someone else.

Frontline Defenders

Don’t Lie is a more-than-20 year partnership between the firearm industry, ATF and DOJ to remind the public about the stiff penalties they face if they break the law, lie on the ATF’s Form 4473 and corresponding FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verification to buy a gun for someone else, especially someone they know is prohibited from purchasing the gun on their own.

NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi praised the local neighborhood firearm retailers, like Ultimate Defense Firing Range & Training Center where the announcement was held, for their efforts to be eyes and ears on the ground.

“Local firearm retailers, like Ultimate Defense, are critical in this effort. They are the first line of defense against illegal straw purchases,” Bartozzi said.

At the event, Dettelbach was asked about the wide and differing opinions on firearm policies and how to best reduce criminal gun misuse. It’s a criticism President Joe Biden’s administration and Dettelbach have faced from national gun control groups who have demanded an end to the NSSF/ATF partnership on firearm crime prevention initiatives. Dettelbach ignored the criticism, repeated the compliment to local retailers as frontline defenders and kept the focus on the mission of the day.

“Any successful strategy to reduce gun violence requires preventing the diversion of lawful firearms into unlawful commerce,” he said. Referencing the partnership between ATF, NSSF and DOJ, he continued, “But we can work together to protect the community from something everyone agrees is a crime and needs to be stopped.”

Need Proof?

The mainstream media echo chamber normally cites data on criminal gun misuse that comes directly from gun control advocacy groups that push flawed and restrictive policies that far too often do not include holding criminals who commit firearm crimes accountable for their actions.

Looking at industry surveys and data from the FBI and ATF demonstrates the folly of gun control groups demanding the ATF sever ties with firearm industry on these critical initiatives.

The Don’t Lie initiative, also recently launched in Philadelphia, Chicago,Phoenix and Richmond, Va., strives to reduce illegal firearm straw purchases. Other industry programs under the Real Solutions. Safer Communities. umbrella are effective too. ATF data shows firearm burglaries and thefts from neighborhood firearm retailers have trended down over the past few years thanks to the ATF and industry’s partnership in Operation Secure StoreProject ChildSafe has distributed more than 296,000 free firearm safety kits, that include gun cable locks, throughout the country just since January 2022 through partnerships with over 15,000 local law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. That number totals more than 40 million in the program’s history. Including industry-led efforts to reduce the tragedy of suicide, especially among military veterans, the number of unintentional firearm fatalities and accidents have reached the lowest levels since data was first recorded in 1903.

While gun control groups shout for more unconstitutional restrictions on firearms that do little to reduce actual firearm crime and instead only infringe on the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, the firearm industry will remain committed to the meaningful and impactful work required to reduce the loss of innocent life.

That includes working with ATF, DOJ, local law enforcement and neighborhood firearm retailers who recognize the importance of these vital partnerships.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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    • RE: “ATF and DOJ to remind the public about the stiff penalties they face if they break the law, lie on the ATF’s Form 4473 and corresponding FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verification to buy a gun for someone else, especially someone they know is prohibited from purchasing the gun on their own.”

      The above “Reminder” not to make an already highly illegal straw purchase on the behalf of a nitwit punches a hole in calls for expanded background checks. Calls that want to make acquiring a firearm sound as easy and carefree as ordering a burger.

      Frankly a reminder needs to be sent to the Gun Control spaceman Giffords who “attempted” to make a straw purchase to demostrate how it easy it was to purchase an AR-15.

  1. The freaking ATF claims a program of “Don’t Lie”!. Laughable. Pathetic.

    WHEN in decades has the ATF NOT been lying?

  2. Who at NSSF seriously thought that more than three (M49, D, AJH) TTAG readers would react positively to a compliment from Reichsfuehrer Dettelbach?

  3. ATF and DOJ to remind the public about the stiff penalties they face if they break the law, lie on the ATF’s Form 4473

    Assuming your name is NOT Hunter Braindead…

    • Do you know how many people were prosecuted for lying on a AFT 4473. LESS THAN 10 nation wide!

  4. Funny the BATFE director talking about lowering temperatures and heat.
    I thought setting fires was their specialty.
    Bettleback Bettleback Bettleback

  5. NSSF is basically an anti-2A organization for all the “shooting sports” industry companies it represents. They love gun-control because gun-owners knee-jerkingly buy more guns every time a new anti-gun law is passed. They love red-flag laws because if you take away someone’s guns they might eventually buy more to replace the ones the cops stole and “misplaced” into their private collections.

    NSSF is no better than the Fudds at the NRA and might even be worse.

    No, the NSSF and the gun industry doesn’t have the 2A as its core mission. They want to make a whole lotta money -which isn’t a bad thing on the whole but they are willing to bargain away our rights horse trading for stuff THEY want but not us. They are totally willing to throw our rights under the bus for a tiny bit of profit today and the day after that but they give zero shjts for those who come after or the future of our republic.

    • Nicky
      I’d say that NSSF has done more for 2nd Amendment rights and the industry than you.
      Your opportunity to to prove me wrong.

      • Nikita and James are correct. NSSF is trade organization, not a rights organization. They trumpet for background checks (4th) and Red Flag laws (1st, 2nd, 4th). They don’t care what guns are selling, as long as manufacturers are profitable.

  6. “………Dettelbach……….praising the ATF’s two-decades long partnership with NSSF on firearm safety initiatives…….”

    Yeah, “safety initiatives”. You know, like “red flag” laws that violate due process.

    When representatives sent to DC get “A” ratings from the NSSF, removal is long overdue.

    • With A-rated buddies like Eyepatch McCain, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn who needs enemies to our republic? The NSSF exists for the quick buck and to hell with the future and our freedom. They will throw us under the bus in search of the next industry grift.

        • Eyepatch McCain, otherwise known as Dan Crenshaw, is very much alive and very much a Fudd as the original POS McCain.

        • Never heard of Crenshaw referred to as “Eyepatch McCain” Don’t see many similarities… Just another of the MANY RINOs in Congress… Never mind, I see where Tucker Carlson called him that, I don’t have much time for that POS sellout either, explains why I never heard it… Looks like he hyphenated eyepatch, don’t know why…

    • “Yeah, “safety initiatives”. You know, like “red flag” laws that violate due process.”

      Or punish-the-victim / disarm yourself with inaccessible storage laws.

  7. ATF better start worrying about things that are a genuine threat…like “Glock switches” which are turning up at crime scenes more and more…their owners often proudly showing them off on the internet…

  8. No but, the use of crypto currency purchased postage and common stateside drop shipping address are significant clues that either fentanyl or a G-switch is in the package. By weight a pound or more is probably synthetic opioids or cannabinoids.

  9. UMMM . . . NOPE! Armed CITIZENS have. ONLY COMMIES and CRIMINALS will have guns if the citizenry is disarmed – which is a BAD combination.

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