U.S. Senate Confirms B. Todd Jones (’83) as Permanent Director of ATF
AUGUST 2, 2013—On Wednesday, July 31, the U.S. Senate confirmed Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones (’83) to be the next director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Jones will be the agency's first permanent head since 2006. He has been Acting Director of the ATF since 2011.
In a statement, President Obama said, "Todd Jones is a tough and tested law-enforcement professional with decades of experience, and his confirmation to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is both welcome and long overdue."
Jones was confirmed 53-42 after Senate Democrats were forced into a last-minute scramble for votes to head off a Republican filibuster of his nomination. North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp cast the decisive cloture vote.
Jones has served as Minnesota's U.S. attorney during the Obama and Clinton administrations. He got his start in Minnesota's U.S. Attorney office during the early 1990s as an assistant U.S. Attorney under Thomas Heffelfinger (’76). He was nominated by President Bill Clinton and served as Minnesota's U.S. Attorney from 1998–2001; in 2009 President Obama nominated him for his current term.
After graduating from the Law School, Jones enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served as an infantry officer with the 7th Marine Regiment and subsequently as both a trial defense counsel and prosecutor in a number of courts martial proceedings until leaving active duty in 1989. He was recalled as a Marine Corps Reservist for Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and was honorably discharged in 1998. An experienced prosecutor of drug trafficking, firearms, and violent-crime cases, Jones also practiced with Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly; Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi; and Greene Espel.
The ATF has been without a permanent director since 2006, when its law enforcement functions under the U.S. Department of the Treasury were transferred to the U.S. Department of Justice, and ATF director nominees became subject to Senate confirmation. Nominees preceding Jones have failed to obtain Senate approval, largely because of objections by pro-gun groups.