B. Todd Jones, the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced Friday that he will be stepping down from his position effective March 31.
“ATF employees are hard-working, dedicated individuals who serve the public to make our nation safer every day,” said Jones in a press release. “I have seen firsthand their extraordinary commitment to combatting violent crime, ridding the streets of criminals, and leveraging all available resources to keep our communities safe.”
“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 added.
After being nominated by President Obama on Jan. 24, 2013, Jones officially took charge of the agency on July 31, 2013. However, prior to becoming the director, Jones served as “acting director” of the agency from Aug. 31, 2011 until the time his position became official.
Jones took over after the previous director resigned following fallout from the fatally-flawed gun running program known as Operation Fast and Furious, which sent over 2,000 firearms over the border into Mexico. Many of those firearms ended up in the hands of known drug cartels.
The ATF said Jones left to “pursue opportunities in the private sector.” Though, rumors are circulating that Jones’ departure had something to do with the agency’s failed attempt to ban the popular AR-15 ammunition M855, or “green tips.” However, those rumors have yet to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, ATF Deputy Director Thomas E. Brandon will serve as acting director starting in April. Brandon was appointed Deputy Director of ATF in October 2011.
— Tim Devaney (@timdevaney) March 20, 2015
Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement:
“Throughout his tenure as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Todd Jones has cemented his reputation as an exemplary leader, a consummate professional, and an outstanding public servant. Since 2011, when I asked Todd to serve as Acting Director of ATF, he has made bold changes, advanced forward-looking policies, and taken innovative steps to strengthen ATF’s investigative capabilities—including ballistic imaging technology that recently played a critical role in the investigation of the shooting of two police officers. With his guidance, ATF has implemented its Frontline business model—a data-driven approach designed to ensure the agency can focus its resources to achieve maximum impact. The agency has developed groundbreaking law enforcement initiatives across the country to combat violent crime and bring dangerous criminals to justice. And as a result of Todd’s leadership, ATF has built a proactive, creative, and effective team that is well-prepared to drive the agency into the future.
“As a former officer in the United States Marine Corps, a highly talented prosecutor, and a proven leader who has been named a U.S. Attorney by two different presidents, 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. 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.”