ATF Chief Stepping Down in Wake of AR-15 Bullet Ban Backlash

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

ATF director B. Todd Jones is stepping down amid the backlash surrounding the agency’s proposed AR-15 bullet ban.

Jones’ resignation will be effective at the end of March.

According to The Hill, Jones used the announcement of his resignation to push back against critics of the ATF who have came out in droves against the agency’s unsuccessful attempt to ban the M855 round:

ATF employees are hard-working, dedicated individuals who serve the public to make our national safer every day. 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. 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.

On February 15 Breitbart News reported the ATF was proposing a ban of popular M855 rounds for AR-15 rifles. Two weeks later, Breitbart pointed to a New York Times‘ article showing the ban had been in the works for years. Then, on March 5, Breitbart reported that although the ATF claimed the ban would keep police officers safe, police organizations–like the Fraternal Order of Police–said the ban was not necessary.

On March 10 Breitbart News reported that the ATF halted the ban, announcing that they had received over 80,000 comments from the public and political office holders, the vast majority of which opposed the ban.

The Hill reported that just prior to the ATF’s decision to halt the ban, 53 Republican Senators sent a letter to Jones saying: “Second Amendment rights require not only access to firearms, but to bullets.”

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