Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: CAP’s Chelsea Parsons on the Resignation of ATF Director Jones
Press Statement

STATEMENT: CAP’s Chelsea Parsons on the Resignation of ATF Director Jones

Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Vice President of Guns and Crime Policy Chelsea Parsons issued the following statement after news reports indicated that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, Director B. Todd Jones plans to resign after 18 months as the agency’s confirmed director. Jones was confirmed to the position following nearly seven years in which ATF did not have a permanent, confirmed director.

After six-and-a-half years during which ATF suffered without a confirmed director, the agency has benefited from the strong leadership that Director B. Todd Jones has brought to the vital mission of fighting gun trafficking and violent crime. Across our country every month, nearly 1,000 Americans are murdered by assailants using guns at rates far above those of peer nations. From the mass shootings to the everyday gun crime in communities across America that is too often ignored, the scope of gun violence in this country warrants vigorous federal law enforcement efforts in partnership with local law enforcement.

The mission of ATF and the dedication of the roughly 5,000 agents and civilian employees who make up its ranks deserve the resources and leadership commensurate with the scope of the challenge. As the president, the attorney general, and Congress consider next steps for ATF leadership, we hope that in addition to seeking out an extremely well-qualified leader for this agency and its vital mission, they will also consider structural reforms that will enhance that mission.

Related resources:

Preventing Gun Violence in Our Nation, An issue brief that outlines a number of recommendations for legislative proposals and executive actions to help reduce gun violence, including a proposal to merge ATF into the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Blindfolded, and with One Hand Tied Behind the Back, An issue brief that discusses the more than a dozen riders that restrict ATF’s ability to fulfill its mission

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at [email protected] or 202.481.7141.