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Todd Jones: A solid choice for ATF director

Tomorrow the Senate is expected to vote on Todd Jones's nomination for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). If you're an OFA supporter who cares about reducing gun violence (and there are a lot of you) you should know why President Obama nominated Jones for the job, and why it matters.

Jones is a former U.S. Marine commander and U.S. attorney. He's been serving as acting director of the ATF since 2011, focusing on prevention and cooperation with those on the frontline—including state and federal law enforcement as well as victims' rights advocates.

But it's not just that Jones is a solid choice for for the job—the ATF's vital mission is being hampered by its lack of permanent leadership. The ATF is charged with protecting our communities from violent criminals and crime, including gun violence. It helps local law enforcement to trace guns found at crime scenes and clamps down on gun traffickers—but the ATF has gone without a Senate-confirmed director for seven years.

This isn't the kind of agency that should be without an experienced director at its helm. Gun violence prevention remains one of the top challenges facing our country, and the ATF will be stronger and more effective in stopping guns from landing in the hands of criminals with Jones as its director.

Jones's nomination was sent to the Senate six months ago. Contact your senators today via the Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121. Tell them it's time to give the ATF the strong, stable leadership it needs to protect our communities from gun violence and dangerous crime.

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Kelly Byrne, Gun Violence Prevention Campaign Manager