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President Biden’s select to lead the Bureau of Liquor, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Steve Dettelbach, acknowledged Wednesday he does not have a definition for the time period “assault weapon,” even even though he identified as for a ban on them when he ran for Ohio attorney basic in 2018.
In the course of his confirmation hearing just before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dettelbach faced a grilling by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who known as him out for how he supported an assault weapons ban during his campaign, irrespective of not realizing what that would necessarily mean.
“When I was a prospect for place of work, I did discuss about constraints on assault weapons. I did not determine the term. And I have not long gone via the procedure of defining that phrase,” Dettelbach acknowledged.
“So you happen to be working for general public workplace, and you known as for a ban on assault weapons, but you will not have a definition for assault weapons?” Cotton requested.
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Dettelbach discussed that determining which weapons fall beneath the class of “assault weapons” is the job of lawmakers. He acknowledged it “would be a tough undertaking” to determine what assault weapons are, because building it way too restricted in scope would not “offer you the protections that are supposed,” when making it much too broad “infringes unnecessarily on the rights of citizens.”
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Cotton argued that “assault weapons” is a built-up phrase made use of by “politicians and legal professionals in Washington.” He observed that guns have classifications such as pistol, rifle and shotgun and that every single have outlined features, but assault weapons do not.
“I consider it is pretty telling that you’re nominated to guide the ATF and you you should not have a definition of assault weapon. And issue is that there is seriously no these point as a classification of weapons acknowledged as assault weapons,” the senator said.
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Cotton recalled that Congress did determine assault weapons with a 1994 ban, but Dettelbach admitted that he is “not specifically familiar with” it.