Gun Lobby Holds Up Bush ATF Nominee

Republicans hold fellow Republican's nomination hostage
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 2:15 PM CST
Then-US Attorney Michael Sullivan listens at a press conference in this July 27, 2007 file photo. Sullivan has long awaited his appointment as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, but...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Michael Sullivan has spent a long time waiting to become head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but his appointment has run into a roadblock in the Senate. Not with Democrats—with his fellow Republicans. Gun-rights supporters have blocked the appointment of Sullivan, also a US Attorney who can't be replaced while the ATF job is in limbo, the LA Times reports.

Advocates are stalling until Sullivan promises the ATF will go easier on gun dealers. Contending that the bureau has set “an impossible standard” for dealers, the lobby 2 years ago helped convince Congress to make the ATF’s head subject to Senate confirmation. Now, supporters say they won’t let an appointee through until he promises to relax restrictions.