THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms(ATF) was founded in 1972,
established as a separate agency inside the U.S. Treasury Department. Before this
transition took place, all of the ATF's responsibilities were under the care of the IRS.
The Bureau's responsibilities consist of administering and enforcing the federal laws
relating tofirearms and explosives, and to alcohol and tobacco products. Since 1982,
when the federal Anti-Arson Act was passed,
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regulating storage facilities for explosives,
and maintaining records so that firearms and explosives used to execute crimes can be
The ATF came under inquiry for it's faulty raid on the compound of the Branch
Davidians in Waco, Texas, on February 28, 1993. Not only were four ATF agents and
six cult members killed in the initial raid, but the resulting 51-day siege (handled by the
FBI) ended in disaster. A Treasury Department report was highly faultfinding.