Acting BATF Director Kenneth Melson will (perhaps) reportedly fall on his sword and resign over Operation Fast and Furious. More speculation is that Attorney General Eric Holder is traveling to Chicago to speak tomorrow to Obama’s 2010 unconfirmed, and Senate-rejected, nominee for the BATF Director, Andrew Traver. I believe he will have be re-nominated.
Traver, likely another Chicago crony, was a wildly unpopular nominee with those who revere our Second Amendment. He is reportedly a member of the anti-gun International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), has an anti-assault rifle stance, conveniently confuses assault rifles with machine guns, signed-off on the Liberal Joyce Foundation study, and has received the NRA’s “strong” opposition. There’s probably more.
Traver has been deeply aligned with gun control advocates and anti-gun activities. This makes him the wrong choice to lead an enforcement agency that has almost exclusive oversight and control over the firearms industry, its retailers and consumers. Further, an important nomination such as BATFE director should not be made as a “recess appointment,” in order to circumvent consent by the American people through their duly elected U.S. Senators.
Traver served as an advisor to the International Association for Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) “Gun Violence Reduction Project,” a “partnership” with the Joyce Foundation. Both IACP and the Joyce Foundation are names synonymous with promoting a variety of gun control schemes at the federal and state levels. Most of the individuals involved in this project were prominent gun control activists and lobbyists.
The IACP report, generated with Traver’s help, called on Congress to ban thousands of commonly owned firearms by misrepresenting them as “assault weapons,” as well as calling for bans on .50 caliber rifles and widely used types of ammunition. The report also suggests that Congress should regulate gun shows out of existence and should repeal the privacy protections of the Tiahrt Amendment—all efforts strongly opposed by the NRA and its members.
Traver also participated in an extremely deceptive NBC Chicago report (http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local-beat/Assault-Weapons-Surge-in-City-69620227.html) in which he referred to “the growing frequency of gang members and drug dealers using heavy caliber military-type weapons” and described them as if they were machine guns: “Pull the trigger and you can mow people down.” Traver and his agents provided the reporter with a fully automatic AK-47, with which she was unable to hit the target. He then said that stray bullets are “one of the main problems with having stuff like this available to the gangs.”
As the Agent-in-Charge of Chicago’s BATFE office, Traver knows that fully automatic firearms are not available through normal retail channels—the opposite of what was implied in the report.
An agency involved in the regulation of a fundamental, individual right guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution should not be led by an individual with a demonstrated hostility to that freedom. For that reason, the NRA strongly opposes Andrew Traver to head the BATFE and urges President Obama to withdraw this ill-advised nomination.
“This is a demonstration that Obama has … the same attitudes about Second Amendment rights now as he did [when he was an Illinois state senator], which is quite hostile,” says Dave Kopel, research director at the Independence Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Golden, Colo., that promotes free-market ideas. “He’s picked a strong anti-Second Amendment person for an administrative job that has far more influence over the practical exercise of Second Amendment rights than any other job in the country.”
We can count on the administration line being, had the Senate confirmed Andrew Traver, Operation Fast and Furious could not have happened. But, if Fast and Furious was a set-up, as some believe it was, to expose American gun sellers and initiate stronger anti-gun laws, then Traver was the perfect choice, and perhaps Obama needs him more than ever. Read background on the new requirement that the Senate confirm BATF directors.
The real concern is, who knew about Operation Fast and Furious in the Department of Justice? And when did they know it? We design a program to walk thousands of powerful firearms into Mexico, and no one in the DOJ knows about it? I’m not buying it. For details on this horrendous program, see a list of related articles below the video.
BATF Director Ken Melson Resigns over Operation Fast and Furious (video)
Note: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), is actually The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).
Related and Background:
UPDATE: The Latest – Fast and Furious: Eric Holder…Stutters…Stutters…Stutters: Issa Says Holder Lied