B. Todd Jones, the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), resigns amidst controversy regarding the ban of ammunition used in AR-15 rifles.

The AR-15 is a lightweight rifle, which is one of the most common firearms used in the U.S. Jones recently attempted to ban the ammo used in the AR-15 rifle.

On Friday, March 20, the ATF confirmed Todd's resignation. The ATF press release states that Jones is leaving the agency to pursue his career in the private sector. Jone's resignation will be effective from Tuesday, March 31.

"I will truly miss leading and working side-by-side with these men and women in their pursuit of ATF's unique law enforcement and regulatory mission," says Jones.

In July 2013, President Barack Obama directly nominated Jones for the director's position at ATF. Jones led about 5,000 employees at ATF, whose responsibilities involve enforcing explosives and firearms laws to protect communities from criminal organizations and dangerous criminals.

In February this year, ATF revealed its plan to ban certain armor-piercing AR-15 ammunition, which created heated debate amongst anti and pro-gun groups.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) along with some other pro-gun groups suggested that controlling the ammunition of AR-15 should be not allowed as it kind of regulates gun ownership in the country.

"Make no mistake, that so called ammo ban, proposed by the ATF that they're now shelving is nothing more than a gun ban by another name," per NRA.

Pro-gun groups suggest that the Obama Administration wants to ban AR-15s in the country. However, as the administration is unable to successfully ban the rifle through the front door they are trying to reduce use of AR-15s via ban of its ammo.

However, ATF's plan suggested that the proposed ban on certain ammunition was to protect the safety and life of law enforcement officers. Some ammo used in the AR-15s are capable of piercing into the protective vest of law enforcement officials.

ATF also cited that the amended Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) restricts the import, distribution and manufacture of "armor piercing ammunition." The proposed ban has not been implemented.

While ATF revealed that Jones is resigning to pursue opportunities in private sector, some market observers believe that the controversy surrounding the proposed ban on AR-15 ammo is the actual reason for Jones to resign.

Photo: Janice Marie Foote | Flickr

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