Durbin Discusses Devastating Impacts of House Republicans' Proposed Cuts to ATF Funding with Director Dettelbach

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, met with Steve Dettelbach, Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), to discuss Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations and their impact on ATF’s overall mission and priorities, including implementation of theBipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA).

“Director Dettelbach and the public servants at ATF are working tirelessly to help keep Americans safe, particularly by implementing our Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. We’ve already seen tremendous impact from implementation of this legislation, which has helped crack down on illegal firearms traffickers, catch violent criminals, recover untraceable ‘ghost guns,’ and enforce compliance with existing gun safety laws,” said Durbin. “My meeting with Director Dettelbach made it even more clear: Congress must continue the bipartisan approach to funding ATF demonstrated in the Senate and reject House Republicans’ radical proposal to cut vital funding that is helping to address the gun violence epidemic.”

Last month, House Republicans’ appropriations bill proposed a $141 million reduction to ATF’s budget, a deep cut that would force layoffs of agents and stifle implementation of BSCA. By contrast, the Senate’s bipartisan appropriations bill would provide ATF with a slight increase of $18 million in funding above its current level.

Last summer, the Senate passed and President Biden signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun violence prevention reform in nearly three decades.