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A controversial ATF nominee

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 8:19pm

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms doesn’t lack for controversy. And the newest name to surface to head the agency is no exception.

Andrew Traver has headed up the ATF office in Chicago, and has been tapped by the President to take over the Bureau that has not had a permanent leader for 4 years. But gun rights groups say, he’s the wrong choice…

“We ought to disband the organization altogether. It has no constitutional warrant. It was established by the very anti-second amendment Richard Nixon Administration.”

Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America is perhaps the most outspoken gun advocate today.

“This guy comes to the leadership of the ATF with a view that he doesn’t work for the people.,” Pratt says. “And he has an agenda that is very much an anti-second amendment one.”

But given that there will be an ATF head, what’s wrong with Andrew Traver?

“His track record for the last several years is very anti-gun rights.”

Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms agrees.

“He worked with the anti gun International Association of Chiefs of Police,” Gottlieb says, “on their report on reducing gun violence, which was funded by the anti-second amendment Joyce Foundation. They fund most of the anti-gun groups including the Brady Center.”

But Paul Helmke of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says it’s typical overblown rhetoric.

“He’s worked closely with law enforcement for the last several years,” Helmke told us. “He’s worked with the Chief’s of Police to stop illegal trafficking in guns, and keeping the community safe. The other side keeps saying we don’t need new laws, we just need to enforce the laws that we have. But they never want anybody to be in charge of enforcement. They never want to give anyone the resources to do it.”

“He is simply the wrong person to be running the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” Gottlieb explains.”

Pratt goes even further. “I know at least Representative Brown of Georgia is considering putting in legislation to do away with the Bureau.”

Traver will require senatorial approval, but the President could make a so-called recess appointment while congress is off for the holidays.

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