Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Headquarters: 99 New York Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20226
Acting Director: Gary Restaino
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is a law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice. The ATF's mission is to protect America against crime, violence, and other types of threats to the public, such as terrorism. In order to achieve this goal the ATF enforces Federal laws and regulations relating to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives, and arson.
Other responsibilities of the ATF include collecting revenue and supervising federal crime prevention programs.
On November 25, 2002, (after 9/11), the Homeland Security Act of 2002 split the Bureau of Tobacco and Firearms into two different sections:
--- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms was renamed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). It is now a part of the Justice Department. Its main responsibility is law enforcement.
-- The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau remains in the Treasury Department. This section oversees tax collection.
ATF also operates the U.S. Bomb Data Center, the DOJ repository for all explosives and arson information and databases. One of those databases, the Bomb Arson Tracking System, allows State, local, and other Federal law enforcement agencies to share information about bomb and arson cases and incidents.
Gary Restaino was named Acting Director of the ATF by President Biden on April 25, 2022.
In fiscal year (FY) 2020, ATF had 5,082 employees, including 2,653 special agents and 760 industry operations investigators. Its FY 2020 enacted budget was approximately $1.4 billion.
The ATF was formerly part of the Department of the Treasury and part of the Internal Revenue Service.
On January 24, 2003, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was transferred under the Homeland Security bill to the Department of Justice. The law enforcement functions of ATF under the Department of the Treasury were transferred to the Department of Justice. The tax and trade functions of ATF will remain in the Treasury Department with the new Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
In addition, the agency’s name was changed to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to reflect its new mission in the Department of Justice.