ATF’s laboratories began with two scientists working in the attic of the U.S. Treasury building in 1886. More than a century later, ATF continues to provide accurate and authoritative scientific analysis of evidence in criminal investigations related to arson, explosives and firearms.
The main hub of ATF’s scientific research is the National Laboratory Center in Ammendale, Maryland, which includes the Fire Research Laboratory (FRL), National Firearms Examiner Academy (NFEA), and one of ATF’s three forensic science laboratories. The other two forensic labs are located in Atlanta, Georgia and Walnut Creek, California.
These laboratories are staffed with highly trained forensic chemists, biologists, engineers, fingerprint specialists, firearm and toolmark examiners, document analysts and administrative personnel who work together to identify leads and help bring criminals to justice.