The head of the federal agency that tried to ban the M855 ammo for the AR-15 rifle is stepping down.
B. Todd Jones, the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) didn’t even give two weeks notice. His resignation becomes effective on March 31.
The proposed ammo ban prompted a huge blowback from gun owners as well as from many federal lawmakers, resulting in the ATF dropping the proposal, at least for now. “Jones’s departure comes roughly one month after the ATF proposed banning armor-piercing,.223-caliber bullets. The move caused an outcry among gun-rights advocates, prompting the agency to drop its plans,” the Washington Post noted.
Jones, a Marine vet and a former U.S. Attorney, took office in July of 2013 after his appointment was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the first ATF director to be subject to Senate approval after the law was changed to add that requirement. He served as acting director since 2011 after his predecessor resigned in the aftermath of the “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal, which resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and others.
On the ATF Facebook page, Jones explained today that “ATF employees are hard-working, dedicated individuals who serve the public to make our nation safer every day… I will truly miss leading and working side-by-side with these men and women in their pursuit of ATF’s unique law enforcement and regulatory mission.”
The Examiner reports that Jones is rumored to be getting a job as a lawyer for the National Football League (NFL). The ATF indicated only that he will be pursuing private sector opportunities.
As the Inquisitr reported earlier this week, some Democrats in Congress have already proposed legislation to implement the ammo ban that the ATF tabled.
Commenting on the flood of negative comments about the proposed “green tip” bullet ban, Jones told a Senate committee earlier this month that the agency was going to evaluate the input and figure out “how we do this rationally.”
According to what sources told TownHall columnist Katie Pavlich, “ATF received a record-breaking 300,000 comments about a February, 2015, proposal to ban common AR-15 M855 ‘green tip’ ammunition. ATF pulled the proposal after pressure from Congress and because the vast majority of comments were against the ban.”
HotAir.com opined that Jones’ possibly-forced departure, in one way or another, likely had its source in the ammo ban misfire.
“If so, it will be difficult to determine whether Jones got a shove because he offered up an ignorant and likely unconstitutional ban on ammunition that has no particular danger, or whether it’s because he retreated on it.”
In a message to ATF employees, B. Todd Jones claimed that he never expected to stay at the agency more than 18 months.
Taking over as acting director will be Thomas E. Brandon, currently the ATF deputy director. Senate confirmation for Brandon or anyone else that the Obama administration nominates is likely to be contentious given that the Republicans control the process and they are not favorably disposed toward the president’s gun control agenda.