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Letter to Todd Jones, Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives - We Support Obama Administration Firearm Policies

Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) led several dozen Members of Congress in expressing their support for President Obama's executive actions concerning firearms and urging the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to fully implement them.

"We welcome the President's executive actions that address the 250,000 military-grade weapons imported to the United States from abroad since 2005 and we support cracking down on the reported 39,000 requests for weapons transfers or trusts last year that make it easier for weapons to fall into the wrong hands," the 51 members wrote in a letter to new ATF Director Todd Jones.

"As you know, Congress has failed to act on common-sense proposals that could make our communities safer. The longer we delay, the greater the chance of there being more senseless tragedies and innocent victims. That is why we continue to support the President's position and urge you to fully implement these recent actions."

Current law prevents ATF from disclosing firearm trace data and multiple handgun sales reports for any purpose besides law enforcement efforts. This has severely hampered the federal government's ability to collect data on gun violence. DeLauro and Lee have been vocal in their opposition to this law, as they were in their opposition to the restrictions on gun-related research by the Centers for Disease Control that President Obama eased in January.

Jones is the first confirmed ATF Director since 2006.

The full letter is as follows:

September 20, 2013

Mr. Todd Jones

Director

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

99 New York Avenue, NE

Washington, D.C. 20226

Dear Director Jones,

Congratulations on your appointment as the first Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) since 2006, a position that is essential to the ATF's ability to enforce our nation's gun laws and combat crime.

We are writing in support of the executive actions President Obama recently announced as part of his effort to reduce gun violence in America. As you know, approximately 30,000 Americans are killed every year as a result of gun violence. An average of eight children and teens are killed by guns in our nation every single day. An epidemic of senseless shootings in Blacksburg, Aurora, Newtown, Oakland, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and many more have left families and communities devastated.

In spite of these terrible events, loopholes in existing law make it easier to obtain military grade weapons and also allow felons, domestic abusers, and others prohibited from having guns to sidestep the background check process by registering their firearm through a trust or corporation.

We welcome the President's executive actions that address the 250,000 military-grade weapons imported to the United States from abroad since 2005 and we support cracking down on the reported 39,000 requests for weapons transfers or trusts last year that make it easier for weapons to fall into the wrong hands.

As you know, Congress has failed to act on common-sense proposals that could make our communities safer. The longer we delay, the greater the chance of there being more senseless tragedies and innocent victims. That is why we continue to support the President's position and urge you to fully implement these recent actions.

Thank you for your leadership and we look forward to working with you to reduce and prevent gun violence in our communities and to stem the flow of illegal firearms onto our streets.

Sincerely,

Rosa DeLauro

Barbara Lee

Gregory W. Meeks

Jim Moran

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Corrine Brown

Elijah Cummings

Robin Kelly

John F. Tierney

Bill Pascrell, Jr

Keith Ellison

Stephen F. Lynch

Jose E. Serrano

Brian Higgins

Lois Capps

Luis Gutierrez

Yvette D. Clarke

Eliot Engel

Gwen Moore

Charles Rangel

Louise M. Slaughter

Jerrold Nadler

David Price

Steve Cohen

Janice D. Schakowsky

Marcia L. Fudge

Matt Cartwright

Janice Hahn

James P. McGovern

Alcee L. Hastings

Eric Swalwell

Grace Napolitano

Alan S. Lowenthal

James R. Langevin

Mike Quigley

Gerald E. Connolly

John B. Larson

John Lewis

Brad Schneider

Michael M. Honda

Judy Chu

Marc A. Veasey

Niki Tsongas

Bobby Rush

Betty McCollum

David Cicilline

Elizabeth Esty

Frederica S. Wilson

William R. Keating

Rush Holt

Rep. Raul Grijalva


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