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President Obama has announced his pick to head the headless Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (and Really Big Fires): Andrew Traver. What took the President so long? Taver was tipped for the post back in August. At the time, TTAG exposed Traver’s anti-gun credentials, which include an avowed aversion to assault rifles and membership in the anti-gun rights group known as the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Why would Obama would pick Traver now, with an ascendent pro-gun Tea Party spoiling for a fight? And a fight they shall have . . .

The last bozo who had the job was a spendthrift (nailed for expensive foreign trips and over-indulgent decoration). And so the Congress made the ATF’s jefe position subject to Senate confirmation. What a brawl that’s going to be, with tales of Traver’s derring do vs. proof positive that Traver’s aligned himself with the pro-gun control mob in Chicago—and beyond!

Traver’s anti-assault rifle position was well-documented thanks to sound bites included in an NBC affiliate’s none-too-flattering report on the firearms genre. Although the tape of that news package disappeared, the transcript remained. Recently, the tape itself resurfaced, providing fresh old ammunition for the NRA and its fellow travelers.

Traver’s work with the IACP included signing off on a 2008 report prepared by the pro-gun control group The Joyce Foundation: Taking a Stand: Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities. Click here for the press release.

The IACP and Joyce are old pals. In 2006, the Foundation wrote a check to the police org for $174,788 to fund a regional summit. For the ’08 report, Traver’s name is in the sidebar on the right, as one of the members of the “advisory group.” Apparently, “the advisory group . . . made critical decisions throughout [the] summit and final report efforts.”

The Foundation’s gun control creds are pretty obvious, and the report is careful not to appear too grabby. It’s not a smoking gun (so to speak), but here’s the most blatantly pro-gun control bullet point:

11. State and local governments should regulate and/or limit the sale of multiple handguns as a measure to reduce gun trafficking.

And just in case Traver wants to walk away from the study, I wonder what this is doing in there . . .

22. The federal government should increase funding to ATF for personnel and technical assistance to combat gun violence.

Oh, and I almost forgot these recommendations:

Reduce the lethality of firearms as well as their availability to criminals:

32. Congress should enact legislation to allow federal health and safety oversight of the firearms industry.

33. Congress should enact an effective ban on military-style assault weapons.

34. Congress should enact an effective ban on .50-caliber sniper rifles.

All that said, if Barack Obama can overcome his past associations with radicals, perhaps Traver can do the same. One to watch.

Meanwhile, the appointment is a gift for the NRA, GOA and other gun rights groups; they haven’t had a proper gun-grabbing adversary since that anti-assault weapons guy Clinton. After the Elena Kagan debacle—where a Supreme Court nominee promised to uphold “decided” law re: gun control and then did no such thing—you can already hear the gun guys singing Won’t Get Fooled Again.

Look for commentator jadegold’s “gunloons” to sound the alarm in three, two, one . . .

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  1. I'll be surprised if a serious effort is even made to get him confirmed. I foresee a recess appointment, conveniently sidestepping the confirmation hearing process, and those inconvenient questions under oath.

  2. Yesterday, I got a mailing from NRA-ILA There were postcards inside to be mailed to Senators Corker and Alexander. Each card was to be signed, stamped and mailed. The message on each card to each Senator was to NOT SUPPORT the appointment of Andrew Traver head of BATFE.
    I composed two letters of my own, in my own words, but including some of the text from the postcards and I signed and mailed them. I felt that two letters would be more seriously considered than two postcards.
    If you feel that you could or would make a special effort to contact those Senators regarding Andrew Traver, please contact NRA-ILA for addresses and details. If you are uneasy about this, check out Andrew Traver for yourself and make your own decision. Our Constitution assures us the liberty to comment about items such as these. The Second Amendment’s rights are only part of our guarantees.

    • I am perstare. This post is a FOOTNOTE to my post in which I stated that I sent 2 letters.
      1. I got a reply from Corker, a very nice letter. It was clear that his letter was composed specifically as a reply to me; it was not a form letter. Corker’s letter in large part supported what my letter said.
      2. IMO a **letter, composed specifically for the occasion,** gets more attention than a “rubber-stamped” postcard.

      I sent a copy of Corker’s letter to the police officer here in Dickson TN who created the handgun-carry classes — the classes that I attended. (Very informative classes, too!) Every communication between political officeholder and voting citizen is important and should be passed on to people who count.

      Suggestion, again IMO: If you get a postcard from NRA that requires only a signature and a quick mailing, try to take the time to **individually compose** your own letter of support. I think such letters get more attention.


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