The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is a bureau within the United States Department of Justice that, according to its stated mission, “protects…communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.” The Bureau, also known as ATF, is headquartered in Washington, DC.
The ATF became part of the Department of Justice in 2003 under the Homeland Security Act; however, it was part of the larger agency that was separated into the TTB (The Acohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau) and the ATF. The economic portion of its responsibilities now lies within the TTB, under the Treasury Department.
The ATF has a field office in every state, as well as overseas in Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia, and the Caribbean, as well as field offices at EUROPOL and INTERPOL.
The ATF offers an in-depth Frequently Asked Questions page, and also provides forms for legal matters that require registration in the areas of firearms, particularly.