Thomas Brandon, head of ATF, to retire at end of April

April 4, 2019

The current head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is retiring at the end of April, an agency spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.

Deputy Director Thomas Brandon, who has been the acting director of the agency since 2015, is a “well-respected leader” and will be “sorely missed,” ATF spokeswoman April Langwell said in an email.

“We wish Deputy Director Brandon best wishes for a wonderful and well-deserved retirement,” she said.

Mr. Brandon has been with the agency for 30 years, starting as a special agent in 1989.

He warned Congress last month that the agency has been hollowed out in recent years by budget cuts, and that the ATF could lose 377 staff members to attrition if the cuts in President Trump’s 2020 budget plan took effect.

“You hear people say, ‘trim the fat.’ Then we trimmed into muscle and now we’re trimming into bone,” he told a House appropriations subcommittee.

It’s unclear who will replace him, Ms. Langwell said.