ATF director lambasted for not defining ‘assault weapon’: ‘Why is he leading the agency?’

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director Steve Dettelbach came under fire on Tuesday for once again failing to provide a definition to the term “assault weapon” despite leading the government agency dealing with firearms.

Dettelbach appeared before a House Appropriations subcommittee where he was questioned by Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Texas, to define an assault weapon.

“As a gun owner of many different types and a 20-year military veteran, I have some expertise in weaponry and self-defense weapons. In 15 seconds, would you define an ‘assault weapon’ for me?” Ellzey asked.

“I’ll go shorter than that, because honestly, if Congress wishes to take that up, I think Congress would have to do the work, but we would be there to provide technical assistance. I, unlike you, am not a firearms expert to the same extent as you maybe, but we have people at ATF who can talk about velocity of firearms, what damage different kinds of firearms …

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