Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives


Washington, D.C.
Sheree Mixell, chief of public affairs
(202) 927-8500

The ATFE describes itself as “a principal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice dedicated to preventing terrorism, reducing violent crime, and protecting our nation.” The bureau has about 5,000 employees, an annual budget of about $1 billion, regional headquarters in 23 cities and satellite offices in more than a hundred others. In 2003, the ATFE was transferred from the Treasury Department to Justice. Its roles and initiatives include gun tracing, firearms license inspection and firearms and explosives training for law enforcers. It has a lead role in the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, which allows federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to compare gun evidence from crimes.

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