ATF Investigator

Many law enforcement officials consider ATF investigators as the ATF's backbone. These specialists, also referred to as industry operations investigators, are primarily responsible for investigating federal violations. While investigating crimes, ATF investigators interview witnesses, suspects, and other specialists. ATF investigators are also responsible for investigating companies that manufacture and distribute products regulated by the ATF, which includes tobacco and alcohol manufacturers and distributors, firearm manufacturers, and dealers. These specialists also investigate violations of the Organized Control Act of 1970, National Firearms Act, Arms Export Control Act, and the Gun Control Act.

  • ATF investigators conduct inspections and investigations to ensure federal laws pertaining to the possession and distribution of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are being enforced. ATF investigator duties include reviewing records to determine whether they're falsified, document analysis, examining inventories to locate discrepancies, and preparing reports for other federal agencies. When violations are discovered, ATF investigators report them to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
  • ATF investigators also conduct background checks on individuals applying for licenses in the regulated industries they oversee. To do this, they conduct interviews, review records, and inspect buildings. After conducting background checks and building inspections, they develop reports and recommend qualified individuals. If the necessary requirements are not met, ATF investigators discuss with applicants seeking licenses what must be done to satisfy the requirements.
  • Investigators rely on their specialized knowledge of federal and state alcohol and tobacco regulations to help industry operations specialists investigating potential violations. When necessary, ATF investigators inspect inventories and business operations, review records, and perform various investigative duties.
  • ATF investigators also organize and participate in seminars to train other ATF employees. Some ATF investigators speak at public and industry association seminars.

Conditions of Employment
  • Be an American citizen
  • Satisfy all federal employee eligibility requirements. Males applying for ATF agent positions born after December 31, 1959 are required to show they've registered with the Selective Service or prove they're exempt from this requirement
  • Hold a valid drivers' license
  • Pass a drug test
  • Prove that you're physically fit enough to fulfill job duties
  • The ATF will only cover relocation expenses for individuals currently employed by the ATF
  • ATF investigators should plan to spend 11 or more days a month on the road
  • Chosen applicants are required to make a 2 year commitment, which includes time spent completing basic training
  • Undergo a background check and satisfy all the necessary requirements to obtain a top secret clearance.

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