Jones Steps in as Acting ATF Chief amid Scandal

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B. Todd Jones has replaced Kenneth Melson as the acting head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives over a gun-trafficking scandal that has rocked the agency. 

The ATF put 2,000 firearms in the hands of criminals as a part of Operation Fast and Furious. One of the weapons was used to kill an American border agent. 

The goal was to arrest the traffickers as they brought the illegal weapons across the Mexican border.  But the plan backfired when the agency lost track of most of the firearms.

Some of the weapons were later linked to violent crimes in the U.S.

USA Today reported that many analysts believe Jones has a tough road ahead of him. 

"I still don't see the light at the end of the tunnel," said Bradley Buckles, a former bureau director. "If there were a permanent solution on the horizon, I would be more confident. I just don't see that." 

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, shared his insights on the scandal on the CBN News Channel's Morning News, Sept. 1.

Two other ATF officials have also lost their jobs over the scandal.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke, whose office was also involved in Fast and Furious, will be replaced by Ann Scheel, his first assistant.

Also, Emory Hurley, the line prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Phoenix office, who worked on the Fast and Furious investigation, has been reassigned from criminal cases to civil cases.

B. Todd Jones, an attorney in Minnesota, has been appointed as Melson's replacement.

Republicans who criticized the ATF for the debacle are vowing to continue the months-long congressional probe of the operation.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairmen of the House Oversight Committee, said his panel would make sure the "blame isn't off loaded on just a few individuals." 

"It certainly goes much higher than the three individuals who were transferred or dismissed today -- and more importantly, those higher up have not yet said how they are going to make sure this doesn't happen again," Issa told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Tuesday.

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