The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is an agency of the United States Department of Justice. The ATF works to ensure public safety from crime associated with alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives.
The ATF most commonly works to prevent and investigate cases of illegal use and trafficking of firearms and explosives, the illegal distribution of alcohol and tobacco, arson, bombing, and terrorism. The ATF works closely with state and local law enforcement offices. In addition, the ATF runs a fire research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, where arson cases are investigated and tested.
The ATF was originally part of the U.S. Department of Treasury, and was formed in 1886 as the “Revenue Laboratory.” The ATF can be traced to 1920, when it served as the famous Bureau of Prohibition, which enforced the Prohibition policy. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011, the ATF was moved from the Department of Treasury to the Department of Justice.
For more information, please visit the official ATF website.