Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director B. Todd Jones announced his resignation on Friday, saying that he will be leaving the agency by the end of the month to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Jones took charge of the agency in 2011 as interim director in the wake of the scandalous “Fast and Furious” gunwalking operation, and in 2013 was confirmed by the US Senate as the first permanent head of the ATF in nearly seven years. He now leaves the post to ATF Deputy Director Thomas E. Brandon.
“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,” Jones said in a statement.
“ATF employees are hard-working, dedicated individuals who serve the public to make our nation safer every day,” said Jones. “I have seen firsthand their extraordinary commitment to combating violent crime, ridding the streets of criminals, and leveraging all available resources to keep our communities safe.”
Jones declined to discuss the reasons of his departure beyond hinting at his ambitions in the private sector. ABC News reports that Jones told Attorney General Eric Holder that he secured a new job in New York City. Some observers have also pointed out that the departure came roughly a month after the ATF proposed a controversial ban on a popular ammunition type, 5.56x45mm M855 “Green Tip” munitions, due to its supposed armor-piercing capability. That proposal was later hastily withdrawn after the ATF received more than 80,000 comments regarding the proposal, the majority of which opposed the ban. In a press release last week, the ATF announced that it will be seeking to “further evaluate the issues” in the future. With Jones announcing his resignation just 10 days later, some have begun to speculate whether the proposal played a part in his departure.
Eric Holder, who first appointed Jones as interim director, said that his nearly four year tenure was characterized by bold changes and forward-looking policies.
“Todd Jones has never hesitated to answer the call to serve his community and his country with exceptional integrity and uncommon distinction. As the first ever Senate-confirmed Director of ATF, his indelible legacy will serve as an inspiring example for all those who follow him,” Holder said in a statement. “On behalf of the Department of Justice, I thank him for his extraordinary service and wish him all the best as he takes the next steps in his already remarkable career.”
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