Lack of Leadership, Influence of Gun Lobby Hamper ATF Gun Efforts

The government agency charged with regulating the gun trade continues to lack a leader, despite the rash of recent shootings in the country. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, has had no permanent director for six years.

Jerry Nunziato is the former head of the ATF's National Tracing Center and was an ATF special agent for 29 years. Speaking on the Takeaway on Thursday, Nunziato said that’s in large part because of the influence of the gun lobby in Congress and the agency.

"Any time we wanted to make a change at the tracing center, to say computerize multiple sales records, we had to run it by the gun lobbyists to see if they would interfere with us in Congress."
Nominees for the job have not been able to get confirmed by the Senate in both the Obama and Bush administrations. 

In the wake of the Newtown shooting, President Obama called on Congress to confirm his nominee for the job at the start of the new year.