U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives
Washington, DC 20226
July 7, 2004
Open Letter to All Federal Firearms Licensees
When Attorney General John Ashcroft appointed me Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), I knew many challenges lay ahead for ATF and for America. It will be 3 years this September since America was attacked. We at ATF remain vigilant, but we are requesting your assistance in our national effort to prevent terrorism.
As you may also know, explosives are frequently used by terrorists to cause destruction. Some of the products you may carry in your inventory, such as black powder and smokeless powder, could be used in acts of violence. While smokeless powder and black powder generally are exempt from the Federal explosives laws, these products are often used to make illegal or “improvised explosives devices” and pipe bombs.
I encourage you to look at the information on the back of this letter and to incorporate these items into your daily business activities. Our hope is to make you aware as to how you can make the right call to report suspicious behavior and help protect America.
We are not asking you to be intrusive, simply aware. Because you interact daily with people during your routine course of business, you know who your customers are, and you are in the best position to recognize and report any unusual transactions. BE AWARE FOR AMERICA! America is our community, and we need to continue to do everything we can to make it safe.
You may have recently heard about or read news accounts of the increasing threats of terrorism in the coming months. Let us all work together to prevent terrorists from obtaining and using explosives or firearms.
Thank you for your continued vigilance!
Carl J. Truscott