Gun Control Advocate Traver to Head ATF

President Barack Obama has nominated Andrew Traver to lead the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and based upon the reaction to the nomination by the shooting industry, you might have thought he nominated a pedophile to run the local PTA. There's a good reason for that.

Traver isn't just any nominee, but the special agent in charge (SAC) of the ATF's Chicago field division, after previous stints in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, and San Francisco. He lacks any prior experience as a senior-level executive, and considering his Chicago ties, there is every reason to believe the nomination is entirely political in nature, providing the president an opportunity to enact gun control measures without risking his already dismal approval ratings.

Inexperienced and politically connected, Traver has developed a reputation as a gun control advocate. Like President Barack Obama, Traver has been tied to the left-wing Joyce Foundation, which bankrolls various anti-gun organizations and which counts among its many initiatives an attempt to subvert Second Amendment scholarship. Traver lent his voice to a deceptive NBC News article, purposefully blurring the lines between fully automatic military machine guns and civilian-legal semi-automatic rifles that fire one bullet when the trigger is pulled. Traver is also member of the anti-gun International Association of Chiefs of Police.

As noted by Only Guns and Money, Traver was a participant in the 2007 Great Lakes States Summit on Firearm Violence, which generated a report titled "Taking a Stand: Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities."

Recommendations in the report involved a string of liberty-infringing proposals, including:

  • Requiring that all gun sales take place through federal firearms license (FFL) holders with mandatory background checks.
  • Enacting an effective ban on military-style assault weapons, armor-piercing handgun ammunition, .50 caliber sniper rifles, and other weapons that enable criminals to outgun law enforcement.
  • Repealing the Tiahrt Amendment, which hinders investigation of illegal gun trafficking.
  • Destroying guns that come into police possession once their law enforcement use has ended.
  • Mandating safe storage of firearms by private citizens and providing safe facilities where gun owners can store their weapons.
  • Mandating reporting of lost and stolen firearms.
  • Developing a best practices protocol for voluntary gun surrender programs.
  • Congress should restore funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program for state, local, and tribal agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of gun trafficking and gun violence.
  • The federal government should increase funding to ATF for personnel and technical assistance to combat gun violence.
  • Congress should enact legislation to allow federal health and safety oversight of the firearms industry.