What is the ATF ?
The ATF refers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm, and Explosive. It is a federal agency of the United States that operates under the Department of Justice. It gained autonomy from the Treasury Department and became an independent agency in 1972. Its primary function is to permit and control the transaction, ownership, and transport of guns, ammo, and bombs in interstate commerce. Its scope also includes the inquiry and arrest of federal crimes concerning the illegal conduct, production, and ownership of guns and weapons; acts involving incendiary devices and bombings; and unlawful distribution of alcoholic beverages and cigarette products.
What Does the ATF Investigate?
Cases of gun trafficking and illegal manufacturing are the common focus of ATF investigation. The ATF also investigates theft involving weapons, bomb-making materials, and other artilleries. They assure that the weapon trade standard is strictly imposed because of their inherent danger once they fall into the wrong hands. Another focus of ATF investigation is the taxation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco due to the alarming smuggling and adverse physical effect these products may cause. They also look into illicit black markets that traffic guns, alcohol, and cigarettes. The investigation of the ATF also covers crimes that involve arsons and bombs, just like what happened during the September 11 series of attacks in the United States. Suspicion of crimes involving these should be directly reported to the ATF hotlines and contact centers.