Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF)

If you were charged with crimes involving illegal use and trafficking of firearms, illegal use and storage of explosives, arson or bombings, acts of terrorism, narcotics trafficking, or illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products you were probably being investigated by the ATF.

Who Is The ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is a Federal Law Enforcement agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, whose responsibilities include investigation and prevention of federal offenses involving the unlawful use, manufacture and possession of firearms and explosives; acts of arson and bombings; illegal trafficking of alcohol and tobacco products.

ATF’s investigative priorities focus on armed violent offenders and career criminals, narcotics traffickers, narco-terrorists, violent gangs, and domestic and international arms traffickers. ATF Special Agents also enforce violations of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, and have authority to conduct narcotics investigations independently of the DEA.

The ATF employs approximately 2400 Special Agents classified as Federal Law Enforcement officers pursuant to 18 U.S.C. ยง 3051, and maintains 25 domestic field divisions with over 100 field offices in the U.S. and foreign offices throughout Latin America.

ATF Powers of Enforcement

The Attorney General of The United States may prescribe special agents of the ATF to:

  • Carry firearms for the purpose of performing the duties;
  • Make seizures of property subject to forfeiture to the United States;
  • Enforce criminal, seizure, or forfeiture provisions of the laws of the United States;
  • Execute search, arrest warrants and serve subpoenas under authority of the U.S.;
  • Make arrest without warrant for felony offenses against the U.S.

ATF Primary Responsibilities

  • Investigate the illegal use and trafficking of firearms;
  • Investigate acts of terrorism;
  • Investigate acts of arson and bombings;
  • Investigate the illegal use and storage of explosives;
  • Investigate the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.