There has not been an official director of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in six years.
In the meantime, there have been acting directors of the agency tasked with regulating the nation's gun industry, but no confirmed permanent ones.
According to the Washington Post:
The gun lobby, concerned about government regulation of firearms ownership, has taken steps to limit the resources available to ATF and to prevent the agency from having a strong leader, according to former and current ATF officials.
In fact, the ATF has fewer than 2,500 agents, less than it had four decades ago.
Currently, the organization is lead by B. Todd Jones, interim acting director and simultaneously the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota. He's working part time.
For an individual to be appointed to the position at the head of the ATF, they must get sixty confirmation votes in the U.S. Senate.
According to the Washington Post, President Obama's first nominee was Andrew Traver, but that nomination stalled because conservatives considered him anti-gun. Then Michael J. Sullivan was nominated, but not confirmed because he was perceived as anti-gun dealer. That nomination has since lapsed as a result of the end of the 112th congress.
President Obama indicated at today's press conference that he is formally nominating Todd Jones for the position. His appointment is a priority for the President's gun control plan.
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