ATF at Work
This area draws upon a wide scope of information
sources, including background information about the
agency, its history and evolving responsibilities,
as well as its activities. Key sources of
information were ATF agency reports, congressional
hearings, GAO reports, budget documents, federal
court records, and interviews. Prior scholarly work
on the agency was also examined. Specific figures
reported are drawn from other areas on this site,
sources for which are discussed below.
National Profile and Enforcement
Trends Over Time
Data on ATF referrals for criminal prosecution
to all levels (federal, state, and local) come
from Hearings Before a Subcommittee on the
Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government
Appropriations of the House Committee on
Appropriations, 104th Congress, 1st Session,
1995 [for years 1985-1991] and ATF internal
case summaries [for years 1992 onward].
Historical staffing information about the ATF was
obtained from the Office of Personnel Management.
Data sources on criminal enforcement are
discussed at more length below in the section on
District Enforcement Annual
The primary source for these figures is the federal
prosecutor database compiled by TRAC from
U.S. Justice Department case management data
systems. Coverage includes all referrals
recommending criminal prosecution recorded as
received by federal prosecutors where the
Immigration and Naturalization Service is
recorded by Justice as the lead investigative
agency. All criminal enforcement figures are
based upon number of individuals (defendants or
potential defendants) involved -- rather than
number of cases. A single referral or case filed
in court may involve more than one individual.
Each defendant involved is separately counted in
Population figures used in computing per capita
rates and ranks are county level annual estimates
from the United States Census Bureau.
ATF staff figures are based upon the number of
individuals on the payroll at the end of the
fiscal year by post-of-duty and were compiled by
TRAC from Office of Personnel Management sources.
Unless otherwise noted, the figures include only
fulltime staff in each occupational series.
Geographic breakdowns (beyond a DC, rest of US
breakdown) were not available after fiscal year