Durbin and Kirk Express Support for Chicago Area Resident to be ATF Director

President’s nominee awaits Senate confirmation

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – In a letter to President Barack Obama, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today expressed their support for Andrew Traver to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). President Obama first nominated Traver to be ATF Director in November 2010 and re-nominated him to the post earlier this year.

“ATF has been without a Senate-confirmed Director since 2006, and this lack of leadership has hampered our nation’s efforts to combat street gangs and drug cartels and to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. It is long past time for the ATF Director position to be filled, and we believe the record will show that Mr. Traver is the right man for the job,” the Senators wrote.

Traver, a Navy veteran and a cancer survivor, is a 23-year veteran of ATF who served for the last four years as Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Chicago Field Division. Under his leadership, the ATF Chicago Field Division has spearheaded major investigations and enforcement actions against numerous Chicago-area street gangs, including the Latin Kings, the Gangster Disciples, and the Aurora Insane Deuces. Traver’s efforts to combat gangs and violent crime in Illinois have drawn bipartisan praise.

Though Traver’s nomination was originally opposed by the National Rifle Association, the Senators urged a second look: “We believe the NRA should take the opportunity to hear Mr. Traver present his case for confirmation and to permit a review of his qualifications by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The NRA commendably waited until after hearings had taken place before taking a position on the nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. As a veteran and decorated federal law enforcement officer, Mr. Traver deserves similar respect for the service he provided the nation in and out of uniform.”