News

Faster and Furiouser? Meet B. Todd Jones, the ATF’s Newest Director

Appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder, Jones has been the ATF's acting director since 2011.

In 2006, Congress ruled the Senate must approve any nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) before taking on the role. The ATF is responsible for enforcing all federal firearms laws. Including firearms trade, issuing FFLs and tracing firearms, it’s also responsible for reducing gun violence. Naturally, 2A advocates are leery of any Democratic appointee or nominee. After seven years of embarrassing stand-ins, Obama’s nominee, B. Todd Jones, finally won the Senate’s vote.

On Wednesday, July 30 2013, the Senate voted 53-42 to appoint Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. All 54 Senate Democrats voted for his nomination.

Appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder, Jones has been the acting director since 2011, one of six acting directors in the last six years. He served as acting director part time, while serving full time as U.S. District Attorney for Minnesota.

He walks into the position at a highly mistrusted and misdirected agency full of controversy and problems. The ATF is currently understaffed and its budget is tight, not to mention the unsolved Fast and Furious debacle. It will be difficult to fix all the problems and perceptions of the ATF.

Appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder, Jones has been the ATF's acting director since 2011.
Appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder, Jones has been the ATF’s acting director since 2011.

Jones received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College in 1979, then proceeded to law school. In 1983, he finished his Juris Doctor at the University of Minnesota Law School. He served in the United States Marine Corps and spent time in private law practice. Jones  served twice as U.S. Attorney for Minnesota. Once appointed by President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001, and again from 2009 until 2013. He gave up the office for his full time position at the ATF.

Jones is not without his own controversy. The day before voting, the Senate met to question Jones on a slew of accusations, in which an internal investigation had just ended. When questioned on the agency’s Fast & Furious scandal, Jones replied it was a “catastrophic failure of leadership.” Breitbart reports allegations of Jones’ mismanagement of his duties as U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, as well as violations against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Further, Jones is accused of retaliating against whistleblowers. Accusers point out an agency-wide video made by Jones that threatens any potential whistleblowers. Jones’ states in the video:

…if you make poor choices, that if you don’t abide by the rules, that if you don’t respect the chain of command, if you don’t find the appropriate way to raise your concerns to your leadership, there will be consequences…

A retired special agent for the FBI, Donald Oswald wrote an accusing letter about Jones stating that as US Attorney for Minnesota, there was a decrease of prosecutions by 40 percent. Oswald wrote, “I, and many others, have concluded B. Todd Jones is substantially motivated by personal political gain and not by doing what’s in the best interest of the citizens he is sworn to protect.” Further, the Department of Justice has a 1,200-page document on a quid pro quo suit involving Jones. However, most of these allegations have been dismissed. Not found true or false, mind you, just dismissed. Jones claims surprise at the allegations.

As acting director, Jones has already replaced six of the ATF’s top assistant directors. He was also the sitting acting director when Operation Fearless failed. During a 10-month botched sting operation, ATF agents allowed $35,000 worth of merchandise and three guns, including a fully automatic rifle, to walk. The undercover operation failed to make any significant arrests. The Department of Justice remains silent on the subject.To read the extended story, visit JS Online.

Gun control groups have supported Jones, including the Brady Campaign and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, while pro-gun advocacy groups walk the fence. “We have never found Mr. Jones himself to be disagreeable,” states NSSF General Counsel Lawrence Keane. The NRA has (so far) refused to take a stance on Jones’ nomination. On the other hand, Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt disagrees, “He’s no friend of the Second Amendment.” Jones claims he is a man of change. We will have to wait and see.

What do you think about B. Todd Jones? Tell us in the comment section.

[suzanne]

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Comments (19)

  1. Black, white, whatever. I don’t care about that. If Obama and Holder are for him, I’m against him. NOTHING they do is in the interest of the American people. They took Bush’s abuses and magnified them 10 fold.

  2. At this stage in American History, I have but one comment. If Obama and Holder are for it I am against IT, it being another lie from Washington to screw the honest American people.

  3. Who cares what the NRA does or does not think about him? They have sold out their membership and gun owners in general on too many occasions with regard to local and state elections. In SC, they supported Jake Knotts in two SC Senate elections, four years apart, and after Knotts had slipped the green weenie to SC CWP holders in each instance. Because of Knotts, SC and GA are not now reciprocal. If an SC CWP holder wishes to carry legally in GA, they need to obtain an out of state permit from a state that is reciprocal with GA. GA CWP holders only have recourse in SC if they happen to own property in SC and can obtain an non-resident SC CWP. This past year, 2012, Knotts used his considerable NRA-Endorsed clout in the SC Senate to block a CWP restaurant carry that was in play, despite numerous phone calls, letters, and e-mails from CWP holders that they wanted this law passed. Several SC NRA members contacted the NRA and implored them to NOT support Knotts in the 2012 elections. Guess what? The NRA gave old Jake an A or A+ rating and endorsed him over pro-gun Katrina Shealy. Thankfully, Shealy beat Knotts and has not been a disappointment so far.

    In Laurens and Greenwood Counties of SC, Representative Michael Pitts likes to wave his NRA Life Membership around as a prop when running for re-election every two years. He claims to be pro-gun, but is far from being so. Pitts is notorious for introducing ostensibly Pro-2A legislation at the start of each year, which usually has fatal flaws in it that either guarantee that pro-gunners will shoot it down or pay a dear penalty for its passage, due to elements which will make some things worse for gun owners, rather than better. Pitts’ game is to appear pro-gun while doing absolutely NOTHING which will benefit SC gun owners. Even so, the NRA endorses him with an A+ rating and heaps praise on him for being so “solidly pro-gun”.

    The NRA is clueless and has lost my membership as a result. I hope they get their act together again some day.

  4. This is the direct result of our Republican leadership.

    Republicans are a few degrees better, maybe less than 1 degree, than leftists. They are “Do anything to get re-elected Leftists”

    Our embarrassing commander in chief, the little indonesian-kenyan-wannabe american-white-black president genuflects to all world leaders. Putin has publicly declared “I don’t use lubricant with Barak.

    Our Republicans? You could use a gigantic dry corn cob and they still don’t feel anything. At least Obama squirms.

  5. “Discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful.” Holy Baloney, where are you editors? Hide Behind’s posts are about as relevant and easy to read as the Obamacare bill. HB, I’m going out on a limb by respectfully asking you if you ever got past the fifth grade.

  6. Yes you white boysstop talking like that cuz if thete are any skin colors that need to be fully armed it is the latinos and black skinned people.
    If you rednecks from al. 50 states with your white God had been nicer to them then we could all be Happy Quansa and Cinco de Mayo and kum-bi- ya singing brothers.
    Now we got that settled lets go to ME to kill brown Islanics who think they own their land and maybe trigger tine on the blacks in Afruca and some definately asia types in Oakistan and Afghanistan.
    Saddle up you fn bunch of hypocrites.
    The only time the white boys want blacks in military is when they can t get enough white boys to join.
    Hell must be 6 or more States run by white boys and govenors trying to stop blacks from voting.
    Tats all right you know after the white boys get to keep their guns that will end ad they all go runing to protect the
    I would vomit but the dinner had been too well to waste.
    We got fn troubles up the ying tangs and we still got a divided land. black and latino votes.
    Vote repub or Else as the midgit mind of Bush said.

  7. This is why we need to start doing to DC and every anti-gun state gov what we did to the Brits in the late 1700s … talk won’t change their minds, votes won’t be enuf, we need to start shootin while we still can, ain’t dat wut the 2A was written for? to enable “WE, THE PEEPLE” to throw off a corrupt or oppressive gov’t !!! I ain’t Muslim, but I’m ok wit martyrdom if it gets this country back to where it shoulda never been allowed to depart frum … if NRA don’t start growing a pair real soon they might lose my installment-plan life membership, I told them dozens of times the same stuff as above, but are we any closer to where we wuz when they started back in 1871? No way! If they don’t wise up soon, they’ll be on my target list too!

  8. Black, White, Brown, Red, Yellow and every other color assigned to the human race; Question; are any of these comments of color addressed to Americans? If yes, stop hating! They are American’s you numb nuts! Reps/Democ it doesn’t matter. Many of these American’s fought in the war to make America, America (a better place for us all). Stop dividing the country. If you don’t like the colors/races other than white that are in charge then leave (get out!). Find some corner at the end of the earth and join hands with your type (surely America would be better off). The civil war has ended, wake up! you live in the real world.

  9. “On Wednesday, July 30 2013, the Senate voted 53-42 to appoint Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. All 54 Senate Democrats voted for his nomination.” Do the math!

    Of course the Brady Bunch and the MAIG (League of the corrupt and criminals)

    How about a politician who actually defends and upholds the Constitution, You know like they take a oath to do….liars, hypocrites, so sick of this.

  10. Keep on kissing up to your elected officials, and their bureaucratic minions and pretend thattheir crocodile smiles mean they love you.

    gun owners suck, not just wind, but what can they do as they acted like macho a holes and vote for ahole who never had any intent of loving you but did drop a $5 or 10 on your pillows after election night.
    There is so much more going down in this nation that we and our toy guns are minor distractions.
    Damn we act like a deer caught in the spotlight;And like one are going to try and tip toe away hoping for not now, please lord not now moment.
    Down below I gotta put in a 12 in order to post and yesterday I pais $37 for a boc of 22 that used to cost under $12.
    Who is winning this game?

  11. Yes there is something very wrong going down.and the now US protectorates of ex soviet and Phillipines are in meetings as we sit.
    This is also about “AMMUNITION QUOTAS”.
    , well not exactly wrong but disturbing.
    First off anything that Donald Oswald a career bureaucratic nut case with a decidedly GOP suck up side is just politics onthe low life side.
    The NRA is getting ready to collapse and pull in its horns to a good old boy monied interest of corporates that are lining up withnew government BATF STANDARDS.
    You will see a UN agreement with s sort of excludionary rules gor Sporting and Recreational Arms..
    All majors gun manufacturing around world getting involved and the largest retailers of gun sales in Euripe

  12. Another one of the 12% being put in charge of a department to rule over the other 88%. Something very wrong here.

  13. A man was chosen for an organization lead that has no recent past record of favoring american gun ownership.
    That he was a democratic party favorite and many progunners just traded a vote to confirm in exchange for their own pork needsThe Executive Branch pulls the puppet strings and puppets dance to unseen tunes.

  14. It should be no surprise that each Democrat Senator gave Jones the thumbs-up, even in light of Donald Oswald’s scathing letter that uncovered Jones’ dismal record in Minnesota.
    I can only conclude that the appointment of Jones to the ATF directorship was completely politically motivated. Had Jones been a white Republican instead of a black Democrat, the Senate Democrats would have tossed his nomination into the nearest round file. What puzzled me is that the NRA has so far been mum on the nomination. I’ll keep my eyes posted to see what is said in the editorials of next month’s American Rifleman.

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