ATF Paper

Topics: Prohibition in the United States, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, United States Department of the Treasury Pages: 15 (3338 words) Published: November 13, 2014

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)

There are many forms of law enforcement that have many different areas of jurisdiction. These jurisdictional areas can be based off the type of crime or by the geographical location of the crime. For instance the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are responsible for investigating violations of Federal law relating firearms, explosives, arson, alcohol and tobacco. Within this paper I will discuss more in-depth details of each branch of the ATF as well as discussing the specific career of the Special Agent.

ATF stands for The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms they are a law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Treasury with unique responsibilities dedicated to reducing violent crimes, collecting revenue, and protecting the public. ATF enforces the Federal laws and regulations relating to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives and arson by working directly and in cooperation with others to: Suppress and prevent crime and violence through enforcement, regulation, and community outreach, ensure fair and proper revenue collection, provide fair and effective industry regulation, support and assist Federal, State, local, and international law enforcement. Since the date of January 24, 2003, the ATF had been transferred under the Homeland Security bill to the Department of Justice ( Despite being transferred under the Department of Justice the tax and trade functions of ATF remain under the Treasury Department with the new Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The ATF provide innovative training programs in support of criminal and regulatory enforcement functions. The ATF has certain values that they abide by and always try to follow. They try their best to always, set and uphold the highest standards of excellence and integrity; provide quality service and promote strong external partnerships; and develop a diverse, innovative, and well-trained work force in order to collectively achieve their goals.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have a very extensive history dating back to 1789 but officially became known as the ATF as of July 1, 1972. The first emergence of the ATF was seen under the new Constitution of 1789, when the first Congress imposed a tax on imported spirits in order to help abolish the debt gained from the Revolutionary War. By 1862 taxes such as the one discussed were abolished, but out of this came similar forms of revenue.

On July 1, 1862, Congress had created an Office of Internal Revenue within the Treasury Department which were in charge of charging and collecting the taxes on distilled spirits and tobacco products ( Just like we see today the taxation of products often evoke resistance, including criminal evasion. Due to this fact, in 1863 Congress authorized the Internal Revenue to hire three detectives in which had the job to “aid in the prevention, detection and punishment of tax evaders.”( Due to this tax collecting and enforcement were now under one roof. The hiring of these three detectives are one of the components that underline the emergence of the ATF we see today.

In 1919, the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution with the combination of the Volstead Prohibition Enforcement Act, brought about the officers known as ‘revenoors’ ( These officers had the duties of investigating criminal violations of the Internal Revenue law, which included illegal manufacture of liquors. By 1920, these officers were in the unit known as the Prohibition Unit. By 1927, the Treasury Department elevated the Prohibition Unit to Bureau status. On July 1, 1930 Congress had transferred “the penal provisions of the national prohibition act” from Treasury’s Bureau of Prohibition to the Department of Justice’s new Bureau of Prohibition ( The...

References: Special Agent - Salary & Benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2014. benefits
ATF Pre-Employment Physical Task Test. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2014, from physical-task-test
Preparing for the ATF Special Agent Exam. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2014, from special-agent-exam
Firearms Enforcement. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2014, from
Explosives Enforcement. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2014, from
Arson | ATF. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2014, from
Alcohol & Tobacco. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2014, from
Eliot Ness. (2014). The website. Retrieved 07:08, Nov 11, 2014, from
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