Head of ATF visits Kansas City, Missouri, to discuss gun violence

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 9:28 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - One of the nation’s top law enforcement leaders is in Kansas City this week to discuss solutions to gun violence.

ATF Director Steven Dettelbach attended a roundtable discussion at the Rose Brooks Center Tuesday night. He’ll be staying through Wednesday to sit in on a weekly shooting review at KCPD headquarters. It’s just one program he praised city leaders for.

The roundtable involved law enforcement and community service groups. There was a lot of talk about collaboration.

Mayor Quinton Lucas invited Dettelbach to discuss ways the ATF can partner with the city, particularly in light of 2022′s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which expands background checks and provides funding for prevention programs.

Dettelbach was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July. He’s the first director to be confirmed in seven years. He faced opposition from gun rights groups.

“That is my single biggest fear as director of ATF that, somehow, people will sort of say that this is part of the world we have to live in,” Dettelbach said in a news conference following the roundtable.

He praised Kansas City leaders for several programs.

One is a ballistic database analysis known as “crime gun intelligence.”

Another is a weekly meeting, known as a “weekly shoot review” with city, county, state and federal law enforcement for data sharing to catch and prosecute offenders.

A third is a program called Partners for Peace. It’s a discussion after the weekly shooting review to determine which of 26 social service agencies should be deployed for each.

“It’s only through partnerships with the ATF [and] with community groups that we can cause a dent,” said Interim Police Chief Joseph Mabin.

“Things are already happening here that I think other cities and other communities will will try to copy, as they should,” said Dettelbach.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which passed into law in June, expands background check requirements for people under the age of 21, creates new criminal offenses for straw purchasing of firearms and extends federal restrictions to people with certain misdemeanor domestic violence convictions.