BELLEVUE, WA – Today’s announced resignation of B. Todd Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will give the agency an opportunity to begin repairing its image following a string of debacles that included Operation Fast and Furious, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.
“This gives ATF another chance to clean up its act,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb observed. “However, based on their past behavior, I still don’t have confidence that they will now suddenly improve their performance. That remains to be seen, and Congress needs to keep the agency on a tight leash.”
Only nine days ago, Gottlieb had called for Jones to step down or be fired following what he called a “colossal blunder” by allowing the agency to propose banning popular ammunition used in modern sport-utility rifles. The M855 controversy earlier this month brought a deluge of more than 80,000 public comments on the proposal, most of them in opposition. It brought a majority of House and Senate members to send letters to Jones, also opposing the idea.
“Even before Jones took over as the first ‘permanent’ director the ATF has had in more than a decade, the agency had a questionable reputation for what appeared to be rogue tactics,” Gottlieb noted. “When Jones was brought on board as acting director in 2011, and then appointed to the post officially in 2013, everybody had very high hopes that he would turn things around.
“But that didn’t happen,” he continued. “Instead, he didn’t fire anybody involved in Fast and Furious. It was on his watch that Operation Fearless went horribly off the rails in Milwaukee. There’s even a bill in the House to dissolve the agency.
“We hope that under new leadership,” he concluded, “ATF can finally remember what it’s job is supposed to be: going after criminals instead of creating them.”