The ATF Director and His Mysterious 75-Spherical Clip

The ATF Director and His Mysterious 75-Spherical Clip

It seems Joe Biden’s second selection to guide the ATF, Steve Dettelbach, wasn’t mendacity when he informed his Senate affirmation committee that he wasn’t a firearms knowledgeable.

Dettelbach appeared Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation, accompanied by Agent Chris, whom the ATF Director described as one in every of his “main consultants.” From a public relations perspective, neither man did their company any good. From a civil rights perspective, the interview was extraordinarily worrisome.

As somebody who instructions armed brokers and a take-no-prisoners SWAT crew, Dettelbach demonstrated zero command presence. He got here throughout as a typical up-tight bureaucrat who possible irons his PJs earlier than he goes to mattress. Reasonably than a prime cop, he appears like the kind of man you’d anticipate Golden Corral to ship to your desk after you complained a couple of roach within the coleslaw.

Dettelbach appeared very nervous, regardless that this was a pleasant show-and-tell interview and never a hostile interrogation. He gestured always along with his rat-like arms and even began repeating himself, lots. Through the 21-minute interview, Dettelbach used the phrase proper a complete of 37 occasions. In reality, my good pal Mark Walters, host of Armed American Radio, turned Dettelbach’s nervous tic right into a ingesting recreation, jokingly telling his listeners they need to take a drink each time the ATF Chief uttered the phrase, proper?

Agent Chris wasn’t significantly better. He struggled mightily simply to take away the slide from a Glock – from a number of Glocks, really. It’s not as if his boss handed him an 8mm Nambu, a Luger or a Broomhandle. You’d assume ATF’s main knowledgeable might take away the slide from the nation’s main pistol.

CBS host Margaret Brennan was fairly moderately involved for her security when she noticed the desk coated in weapons that Dettelbach and his main knowledgeable had assembled.

“They’re not loaded?” she requested.

“They’re not loaded,” Agent Chris assured her. “We checked all of them earlier than you got here.”

“Okay,” Brennan stated nervously. In my humble opinion, she ought to have demanded some plates.

Dettelbach defined that the weapons had been grouped in pairs. One of many firearms was an NFA weapon; its accomplice, he stated, was an “try to get round NFA that ATF has been coping with by way of rulemaking and enforcement.”

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

“These two issues are the identical. They function the identical. Each of them can shoot proper by way of this 75-round clip,” Dettelbach informed Brennan, whereas holding up a 75-round drum journal, which Agent Chris had described simply seconds earlier as a 75-round drum journal. Somebody ought to clarify to the great Director the distinction between a clip and {a magazine}, and that there’s a world of distinction between a select-fire AK and one with a bump-stock.

Subsequent, Dettelbach confirmed off a 9mm SBR and an identical weapon outfitted with a pistol brace.

“The 2 weapons are designed to be fired from the shoulder, identically,” he stated. “So, we’re treating them the identical. That’s all that rule says.”

Dettelbach by no means talked about that the producers of the pistol brace, which was initially designed for disabled veterans, acquired dedication letters from his ATF that stated the brace was not topic to NFA. He by no means informed Brennan that if 40 million pistol braces had been abruptly categorised as Quick Barrel Rifles by ATF, their homeowners might have confronted federal felonies in the event that they didn’t instantly register their weapons as SBRs. He by no means disclosed how ATF’s zeal to write down and implement its personal legal guidelines started in earnest underneath the Biden-Harris administration or how the ATF – underneath his management – is getting its butt kicked in courtroom in consequence.

The 2 feds confirmed 3D printed auto sears for the AR and a Glock change, which converts a semi-automatic Glock to full-automatic. They talked about how straightforward the sears had been to print however by no means talked about they’re additionally extremely regulated and unlawful to own underneath most circumstances.

Selecting up one of many ARs, Agent Chris stated, “This can be a privately made firearm,” which his boss rapidly corrected. “That’s additionally a ‘ghost gun,’” Dettelbach stated.

After turning their consideration to a privately made Glock clone, which had a change added to the slide, Dettelbach stated, “When you have got a change, when you have got one in every of these firearms that’s transformed to being absolutely automated, that’s not a shoulder firearm, proper, that’s a pistol like this, proper, I’ve seen these fellows hearth them on the vary. There’s an enormous kick-up. You see individuals inadvertently shoot up the ceiling on the vary, proper.”


All through all the interview, there was an M249 SAW with a para inventory sitting on the desk, perched on its bipod. It was by no means talked about. If I needed to guess, I’d say it was included as a result of it appears deadly and, to the uninitiated, scary. The SAW might have been a metaphor for this complete dog-and-pony present. Clearly, it was Dettelbach’s intent to scare viewers – to misinform them of the hazards bump-stocks, pistol braces, and “ghost weapons” pose. Fortunately, his message missed the mark. All he completed was reinforcing what’s turning into a incessantly requested query: Do we actually want the ATF?


This story is introduced by the Second Modification Basis’s Investigative Journalism Challenge and wouldn’t be attainable with out you. Please click on here to make a tax-deductible donation to assist extra pro-gun tales like this.

About Lee Williams

Lee Williams, who’s also called “The Gun Author,” is the chief editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Till not too long ago, he was additionally an editor for a each day newspaper in Florida. Earlier than turning into an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Earlier than turning into a journalist, he labored as a police officer. Earlier than turning into a cop, Lee served within the Military. He’s earned greater than a dozen nationwide journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.

Lee Williams

The ATF Director and His Mysterious 75-Round Clip is written by Lee Williams for

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