Updated 12:27 p.m. | B. Todd Jones is resigning as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives weeks after the agency abandoned a plan to ban some bullets.
Jones' departure, effective on March 31, could mean another long slog for the agency without a confirmed director, especially given the controversy over the abandoned AR-15 bullet ban and the politically explosive gun control debate heading into an election year.
Jones praised ATF staff in a statement.
"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," he said.
Jones had been the acting director since 2011 and was confirmed in 2013 after barely clearing a cloture vote.
Jones's deputy, Thomas E. Brandon, will serve as acting director after Jones departs.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said under Jones, the "ATF has built a proactive, creative, and effective team that is well-prepared to drive the agency into the future."
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