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As Biden Pushes Gun Control, A.T.F. Remains Without a Leader

“What’s been done to the A.T.F. is systemic, it’s intentional, and it’s a huge problem,” stated T. Christian Heyne of Brady: United Against Gun Violence, a gun-control group that has proposed a plan for government motion on the difficulty centered on stepped-up enforcement by the company.

Mr. Biden is predicted to roll out a collection of government orders associated to gun violence within the coming weeks. Almost all the orders require a vital growth of A.T.F. enforcement. But even naming somebody to steer the company is a headache.

In 2006, N.R.A.-allied lawmakers enacted a provision making the position of A.T.F. director, which had beforehand been a political appointment, topic to Senate affirmation.

As a outcome, just one director has been confirmed over the past 15 years: the Obama nominee B. Todd Jones. Regina Lombardo, a well-regarded company veteran who helped direct the federal response to the Pulse nightclub bloodbath in Orlando in 2016, has served as appearing director since early 2019.

She bought the job after former President Donald J. Trump, who ran on a defiantly pro-gun platform, withdrew the nomination of a former prime police union official, Chuck Canterbury, after the nominee refused to completely rule out increasing background checks and different safeguards.

The company’s potential energy was one more reason Mr. Canterbury failed. One of Mr. Trump’s closest allies, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, opposed him, warning that Mr. Canterbury may use the bureau’s authority to extra strictly implement gun legal guidelines.