Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

May 2014

Contact: Public Affairs Division


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Explosives Enforcement Officer (EEO) has unique technical capabilities in explosives and bomb disposal. They render bombs and other destructive devices safe, provide explosives device determinations for criminal prosecutions and routinely conduct explosives threat assessments of vulnerable buildings, airports and national monuments. Their duties range from conducting explosive product testing and evaluation to assisting the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance Program in conducting antiterrorism capability assessments outside the United States

The goal of the EEO program is to support ATF’s work in enforcing the federal explosives laws and protecting the public from the criminal misuse of explosives by:

  • Responding to and assisting with investigations of bombings or attempted bombings within ATF’s jurisdiction
  • Conducting render safe procedures of bombs and destructive devices and rendering destructive device determinations
  • Assisting with the investigation of accidental explosions and accidents involving explosives operations
  • Providing explosives training to other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in their area of expertise and other related aspects of explosives handling and destruction

EEOs assist ATF special agents and certified explosives specialists and local, state, and other federal law enforcement agencies in bombing–related investigations and provide expert courtroom testimony in support of these investigations. EEOs are ATF’s primary point of technical assistance and support in matters involving improvised explosive devices and destructive devices.

Following criminal investigator basic training, EEOs are required to take the following ATF courses: Post-blast Investigation; Chemistry of Pyrotechnics; Advanced Explosives Disposal Training; Advanced Explosives Investigation Training; and other internationally available courses. EEOs also attend the Hazardous Devices School at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala.

Many EEOs previously served as explosive ordnance disposal technicians in the U.S. military, where they received more than one year of specialized explosives training. On average, EEOs have 16 years of experience in the explosives field prior to their employment by ATF.

ATF currently has more than 20 EEOs stationed throughout the country.

ATF is charged with enforcing the federal explosives and arson laws, which include the National Firearms Act (codified at Title 26, United States Code, Chapter 53), the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, Title XI, and the Safe Explosives Act of 2002 (codified at Title 18, United States Code, Chapter 40) and the implementing regulations (codified at Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 479 and 555).