Jul 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Garland pushes Senate to confirm head of ATF

Garland.
Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday pushed the Senate to confirm the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as the agency, which assists federal efforts combatting gun violence, has been without a permanent leader since 2015.

The big picture: Republicans and the National Rifle Association have worked to nix David Chipman's confirmation to lead the ATF, the AP reports.

  • Chipman has worked for the agency for two decades and had previously served as an adviser to the gun control group Giffords.

Driving the news: Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco met at the agency before traveling to Chicago to launch an effort to combat gun trafficking.

  • The effort will seek to interrupt the flow of guns illegally brought into cities with restrictive guns laws from cities and states where firearms are more easily obtained.

What they're saying: “As you all know, ATF is on the front lines of our efforts to battle gun violence,” Garland said, per AP. “We are very hopeful that the Senate will soon act.”

  • We all know our job is to go after those who pull the trigger,” Monaco said in a statement to AP.
  • "But our job is also of course to go after the sources of those guns, the corridors that they travel in and the networks that feed those guns to the places where they are doing the most violent crime and that is what this series of strike force efforts is all about," she continued.
Go deeper