Durbin Statement on the Confirmation of B. Todd Jones to be the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

After years of obstruction, Jones will be the ATF's first Senate-confirmed Director

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Senate confirmed B. Todd Jones to be the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Although the ATF director position began requiring Senate confirmation in 2006, both President Bush and President Obama’s nominees to the position were blocked, and the agency had not yet had a Senate-confirmed director.


“Over the last 7 years, the gun lobby has done everything it can to keep the ATF leaderless and weak.  Several weeks ago I stood on the Senate floor and said I was putting the gun lobby on notice – either we get a confirmed director for ATF or else we will have to bring in the FBI to help make sure the gun laws are adequately enforced.  Today, I am pleased that the Senate has finally confirmed an ATF Director, which will help the agency carry out its mission to combat gun violence in communities like Chicago, East St. Louis, Rockford, and throughout Illinois.”


“I am especially pleased that Mr. Jones has committed to making crime gun tracing a cornerstone of ATF’s strategic plan to reduce gun violence. I look forward to working with him on ensuring that this important tool is employed by law enforcement agencies throughout the country.”


“I’m sorry it’s taken this long to confirm a nominee to this critically important position, but I am pleased that the Senate finally reached a bipartisan compromise that will install long-term leadership at ATF and help make sure that gun laws are enforced effectively in this country.”