Leahy Hails Historic Confirmation Of ATF Nominee

Jones To Be Agency’s First Confirmed Director

WASHINGTON –Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed the Senate’s vote Wednesday to confirm B. Todd Jones to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).  Jones has served as acting director since September 2011, and with today’s vote, becomes the agency’s first Senate confirmed director. 

“When the 113th Congress convened following the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the Judiciary Committee focused its attention on commonsense gun violence prevention legislation,” Leahy said.  “Like many Americans, I was disappointed at the Senate’s inability to come together to make sensible changes to our laws to reduce gun violence. But today, I applaud the Senate’s vote to provide the ATF with a confirmed director.  As acting director, Todd Jones has shown strong leadership at the ATF and played a major role in investigating some of our nation’s worst tragedies. He is the right person for this important job.”

The ATF has been without a permanent director since the position was designated to require Senate confirmation in 2006.  Jones is the agency’s fifth acting director since that time.  He was nominated in January.  The Judiciary Committee approved his nomination by a vote of 10-8 earlier this month, after he appeared for his confirmation hearing in June.

Since 2006, “80,000 Americans have been killed with guns.  The ATF helps protect our communities from dangerous criminals, gun violence, and acts of terror.  It is a central piece of our Federal law enforcement strategy,” Leahy noted in a floor statement Wednesday.  “For too long the position of director at the ATF has been held hostage to partisan politics at the expense of public safety.  It is time to make real progress in our efforts to reduce gun violence and protect the citizens of this great nation.” 

Jones’s nomination is supported by a host of groups including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National District Attorneys Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Americans for Responsible Solutions, the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  Additional information about Jones’s nomination can be viewed online.

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