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A Brief Chat With Tom Brandon, Head of ATF, on Gun Violence and the Need For More Staffing

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

CHICAGO — Tom Brandon, head of ATF, wonders at time when gun violence is such a pressing issue in America,  why the agency isn’t getting more funding for additional agents.

He says with an additional 200 agents “we could really make a huge difference.”

Brandon became an ATF agent in 1989. In 2011, he was named deputy director and on April 1, he became the acting director. Because the White House has decided not to name him the permanent director, his title, by law, changed this week to deputy director, even though he’ll still be the top agent and carry out the duties of the director.  Why?

It’s called Washington politics. Politico reports that the White House doesn’t want to expend political capital trying to get an ATF director confirmed on the Hill — something that has always been a battle. That being said, a law states that Brandon can’t hold the title of interim director for more than 210 days.

Brandon, who attended the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago this past week, sat down with Allan Lengel of ticklethewire.com for a brief chat about gun violence and the agency’s mission.


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