The Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing today for ATF director nominee Todd Jones, acting head of the ATF and U.S. Attorney for Minnesota. It goes without saying that the ATF needs to have a firm grip on crimes committed with firearms purchased illegally, and the ATF director must take prosecution seriously. But is Jones the man for the job?
During the hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz confronted Jones on his record as U.S. Attorney with regard to prosecuting gun crimes and came away less than confident in Jones’ ability to head the agency that persists under the dark cloud of Fast and Furious:
Cruz continued: “Do you think prosecuting just 44 out of over 48,000 felons and fugitives who try to illegally buy guns, do you think that’s an acceptable allocation of prosecutorial resources?”
Jones offered up the weak defense that prosecutorial resources were stretched thinly, but Cruz wasn’t buying it:
Sen. Cruz pointed out that in 2010, the DOJ prosecuted only 44 out of 48,321 felons and fugitives who attempted to purchase guns illegally. Moreover, during the course of Cruz’s questioning, Jones was forced to admit that his office had prosecuted exactly zero such criminals.
Be sure to watch the full exchange:
Sen. Cruz is absolutely right. If we can’t trust a member of the Justice Department to monitor illegal firearms purchases and prosecute gun criminals, how can we possibly trust him to help ensure that, as ATF director, he will ensure that our country is safe? Jones’ record has proven less than encouraging:
The status quo has failed. Miserably. Given Jones’ history, can we really be confident that he’ll change the ATF for the better?