BELLEVUE, WA – After due consideration, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms strongly encourages the U.S. Senate to reject confirmation of Michael Sullivan as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives until he demonstrates responsible leadership.

While we have admired Mr. Sullivan’s no-nonsense opposition to attempts by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others to gain sweeping access to sensitive BATFE firearms trace data, we are alarmed at what appear to be significant abuses of authority by BATFE agents under his command. The BATFE is an agency in serious need of reform, and we are not confident Mr. Sullivan can accomplish such reform, based on agency conduct under his term as acting director.

While these abuses were not started by Sullivan, he has not taken any action to stop them. In fact, he has publicly defended these abuses. The U.S. House of Representatives has rebuked the BATFE, yet Sullivan still refuses to lead the BATFE in a responsible manner.

“We have given Mr. Sullivan plenty of time to demonstrate reasonable, even-handed, and responsible leadership,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Mark A. Taff. “We find his performance to date wanting.”

The only way gun owners can support Sullivan’s confirmation, Taff said, is if he clearly and publicly details the steps he will take to stop the abuses at the BATFE, and begins to implement said policies immediately. Until that happens, we fully support the indefinite hold on his confirmation, and encourage President Bush to revisit his decision to nominate Mr. Sullivan.

America’s firearms community will remember those Senators who choose to support a continuation of the abuses at the BATFE by confirming Sullivan, Taff stated. The Senate should give due consideration to Sullivan’s failure to heed the rebuke by the House.