I wrote Cornyn to ask him to block the appointment of Andrew Traver as BATFE director. Here is his response.
Thank you for your recent letter regarding President’s Obama’s nomination of Andrew Traver to serve as the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important matter.
I share your concerns regarding Mr. Traver’s record and qualifications to serve as Director of the ATF. Mr. Traver has been closely associated with interest groups that support strict gun control as a means to reduce gun violence. By contrast, I believe the most effective way to reduce gun violence is to respect the rights of law-abiding citizens and focus our attention on the source of violent crime: criminals who use firearms to commit crimes. I believe that strictly enforcing the law and meting out longer sentences for career criminals and those who use firearms when committing crimes will reduce crime more effectively than gun or equipment bans, which primarily serve to take firearms away from law-abiding citizens. As a former Texas Supreme Court Justice and Attorney General, I have firsthand knowledge of crime-fighting policies that work, and I believe that citizens' Second Amendment rights should not be restricted because of the actions of criminals.
Further, I am concerned with the current state of the ATF, and during the 111th Congress I co-sponsored legislation to modernize the bureau’s enforcement regime. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act of 2009 was drafted in response to a chorus of complaints from firearm dealers about certain tactics used by ATF agents, and would have reformed the manner in which ATF enforces federal firearms laws. This legislation would have modernized the list of civil penalties available to ATF inspectors, introduced needed transparency into the penalty assessment process, and resulted in fewer instances of federal firearms dealer license (FFL) revocations due to technical violations such as paperwork errors.
I support the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. It is essential to safeguard the law-abiding citizen's constitutional right to own and use firearms designed for legitimate purposes such as hunting, target shooting, collecting, and self-protection. Restricting this right runs counter to the intent of our Founding Fathers, who expressly guaranteed that citizens would retain the right to keep and bear arms. To this end, it is important to ensure rigorous congressional oversight of the federal agency responsible for regulating firearm dealers.
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee—the panel charged with oversight of ATF and confirmation of this nominee—you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind as Andrew Traver’s nomination is considered. I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856http://www.cornyn.senate.gov