Steven Dettelbach, Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Steven Dettelbach

Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

Steven Michael Dettelbach was born in November 1965, in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and received his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. He clerked at the District of Columbia U.S. District Court. 

Dettelbach joined the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, serving as a trial lawyer and as the acting deputy chief. He became an assistant United States Attorney in Maryland where he served four years. He spent two years as counsel to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He spent four years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at Cleveland, then entered private practice. 

President Barack Obama nominated Dettelbach to be U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. He was confirmed by the Senate and served from September 2009 to January 2016, returning to private practice. 

President Joe Biden nominated him to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Senate confirmed him, and he assumed office in July 2022. 

Dettelbach is married to Karil, and they have two children. He is Jewish. 

In the News…

In recent discussions at the Harvard Kennedy School on the subject of gun violence, the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Steven Dettelbach said banning “assault weapons” is on his arms control “wish list.” 

“I think that it would be helpful if we had universal background checks in this country,” he stated. “I think that’s something that seems to make sense. … I agree that we ought to consider and actually reinstate a ban on certain types of assault weapons.” 

“People who grow up in communities with a lot of guns have told me… you never give a gun to a stranger, right? And so, why should you let somebody buy a firearm without passing a single background check?” He added that it is important to “revive this idea of both respecting rights, but respecting the responsibility that comes with those rights.” 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Director Dettelbach today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Steven Dettelbach, Director 
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives 
99 New York Ave NE 
Washington, DC 20226  


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