UPDATE: ATF has officially confirmed Jones' departure without stating a specific reason for his resignation.
“ATF employees are hard-working, dedicated individuals who serve the public to make our nation safer every day,” said Jones. “I have seen firsthand their extraordinary commitment to combatting violent crime, ridding the streets of criminals, and leveraging all available resources to keep our communities safe," Jones said in a statement. “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."
Jones confirmed in a statement sent to ATF employees and agents that he will be returning to the private sector and said he never planned to stay longer than 18 months in the position. His last day at the Bureau will be March 31.
"On March 31, 2015, I will be leaving ATF and Federal government service and returning to the private sector. I am pleased to tell you that Deputy Director Tom Brandon will serve as Acting Director upon my departure.
When I came to ATF in August 2011 to serve as the Acting Director, I only expected to stay about 18 months; I was fortunate to stay more than three years, part of that as a Senate-confirmed Director. During that time, as a result of your efforts, ATF has continued – efficiently and effectively – to protect the public and make a difference in the communities it serves," Jones said.
Attorney General Eric Holder has also released a statement about Jones' departure.
According to reporting from David Codrea last night and The Hill today, ATF Director B. Todd Jones, who was just confirmed in 2013 to head the controversial agency, will resign.
According to one of my sources, ATF received a record breaking 300,000 comments about a February 2015 proposal to ban common AR-15 M855 "green tip" ammunition. ATF pulled the proposal after pressure from Congress and because the vast majority of comments were against the ban. The decision to pull the ban also came after ATF was caught in a "publishing mistake" in their 2014 Regulation Guidebook, which had already effectively banned the ammunition by stripping it of its "armor piercing" exemption before the public commenting period ended on March 13. The 2014 Regulation Guidebook has since been corrected and M855 "green tip" still has its exemption.
Codrea reports Jones will leave his ATF position for a job with the NFL:
B. Todd Jones will be resigning from his position as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and accepting private sector employment with the National Football League, gun dealer compliance and legal protection firm FFLGuard claimed in a Thursday advisory. The report, while as yet not corroborated, is consistent with information Gun Rights Examiner has been investigating, including by attempting earlier today to obtain confirmation from ATF.
“FFLGuard has learned from unconfirmed sources that current ATF Director B. Todd Jones will be stepping down by the end of the month, and perhaps even sooner,” the alert reports. “Rumor is that Jones will be making a move from guns to sports, as a lawyer for the National Football League. The good news is that the ‘acting’ personnel who will be elevating to higher positions, albeit temporarily, have historically been receptive to the concerns of FFLs.”
This means President Obama will have the option to nominate a permanent director to take his place. A new confirmation could take years. In the meantime Acting Director Tom Brandon, who has a history of failing to not only punish bad behavior within the agency but condone it, will be in charge.
Stay tuned for updates.
This post has been updated with additional information. An earlier version listed Jones as being confirmed by the Senate in 2014, that is incorrect, he was cofirmed in 2013.