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Fact Sheet - Facts and Figures for Fiscal Year 2017

May, 2018
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Fast Facts

  1. ATF closed 8,417 cases that had been recommended for prosecution in 2017 or a previous fiscal year.

  2. ATF has 9,849 active explosive licensees and permittees and ATF has 135,088 active federal firearms licensees.

  3. ATF conducted 11,009 firearm compliance inspections in 2017.

Personnel

  • Special Agents (1811): 2,623
  • Industry Operations Investigators (1801 and 1854): 828
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  • Administrative/Professional/Technical: 1,662 Total Full-time Employees: 5,113
  • Field Divisions:  25

Cases:

ATF closed 8,417 cases that had been recommended for prosecution in 2017 or a previous fiscal year.

  • Recommended for prosecution: 9,591
  • Indicted cases: 7,137
  • Convicted cases: 6,068
  • Criminal group and gang cases:  1,145

Defendants:

  • Recommended for prosecution: 15,106
  • Prior Arrests: 131,078 or an average of 8.744 prior arrests per defendant recommended for prosecution.
  • Prior Convictions: 34,256 or an average of 2.3 prior convictions per defendant recommended for prosecution.
  • Defendants indicted: 10,878
  • Number convicted: 8,637
  • Received life sentence: 43
  • Received death sentences: 14

In fiscal year 2017 case and defendant data presents a snapshot in time of matters proceeding through the various phases of the judicial process. The typical ATF case recommended for prosecution remains open over a period of approximately 4 years. Cases and defendants indicted, convicted, and sentenced are not subsets of cases and defendants recommended for prosecution in 2017. The snapshot presents actual judicial activity in the fiscal year regardless of the year the matter was recommended for prosecution. The reader is cautioned not to calculate, for example, “percentage indicted” based upon the presented data as the case indicted may have been presented in a previous fiscal year.

Initiated criminal investigations to these specific areas:

  • Number of firearms cases: 35,302
  • Number of arson cases: 2,041
  • Number of explosives cases: 1,073
  • Number of alcohol and tobacco cases: 91

Firearms Licensees:

ATF has 134,738 active Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL)

  • Type 01-Dealer: 56,130
  • Type 02-Pawnbroker: 7,822
  • Type 03-Collector: 54,729
  • Type 06-Manufacturer of Ammunition: 2,211
  • Type 07-Manufacturer of Firearms: 12,066
  • Type 08-Importer: 1,106
  • Type 09-Dealer of Destructive Devices: 77
  • Type 10-Manufacturer of Destructive Devices: 363
  • Type 11-Importer of Destructive Devices: 234

Inspections:

ATF conducted the following firearm compliance inspections: 11,009

Firearms compliance inspections resulted in the following recommendations [1]:

  • No violations: 5,033 (45.7%)
  • Report of violations: 1,682 (15.3%)
  • Warning letter: 1,354 (12.3%)
  • Warning conference: 472 (4.3%)
  • Revocations/Denials: 40 (0.4%)
  • Other (out of business, etc.): 2,413 (21.9%)

 Most frequently cited violations:

  • Transferee did not properly complete Section A, F 4473 - 27 CFR 124(c)(1)
  • Failure to timely record entries in bound record (Acquisition and Disposition Book) - 27 CFR 478.125e
  • Failure to complete forms as indicated in instructions (this violation is often cited when the licensee failed to properly complete a form, but there is not a separate regulatory citation addressing the omitted or mis-documented item) - 27 CFR 478.21 (a)-(b)
  • Licensee did not record on F 4473 the date on which NICS was contacted - 27 CFR478.124 (c)(3)(iv)
  • Licensee did not sign and date F 4473 - 27 CFR 478.124 (c)(5)
  • Licensee failed to obtain and/or document purchaser’s Identification document - 27 CFR 478.124(c)(3) (i)
  • Licensee failed to report multiple handgun sales - 27 CFR 478.126a
  • Licensee failed to properly identify firearm on F 4473 - 27 CFR 124(c)(4)
  • Licensee failed to contact NICS and wait stipulated time prior to transfer of firearm - 27 CFR 478.102(a)
  • Licensee failed to record the type, model, caliber or gauge, and serial number of each complete firearm manufactured or otherwise acquired - 27 CFR 478.123(a)

Number of firearms inventory discrepancies found during compliance inspections:

  • Initial discrepancies: 516,290
  • Final discrepancies (after reconciliation): 12,484

Firearms application inspections conducted: 11,042

  • 9,089 approved
  • 1,953 denied, abandoned, withdrawn

Explosives Licensees:

ATF has 9,815 active Federal Explosives License and Permits (FEL/P)

  • Manufacturers:  2187
  • Importers:            529
  • Dealers:               957
  • User:                  6142

Most frequent cited violations:

  • Explosives compliance inspections conducted: 3,973
  • Explosives application inspections conducted: 868

Explosive compliance inspections resulted in the following recommendations:

  • No violations: 2,923 (73.6%)
  • Report of violations: 155 (3.9%)
  • Warning letter: 159 (4.0%)
  • Warning conference: 45 (1.1%)
  • Revocations sought: 13 (0.3%)
  • Other (Out of Business, etc.): 678 (17.1%)

Most frequent cited violations:

  • 27 CFR 555.127 - Failure to maintain an accurate Daily Summary of Magazine Transactions
  • 27 CFR 555.215 - Failure to comply with House Keeping Guidelines
  • 27 CFR 555.29 - Failure to comply with Storage requirements.
  • 27 CFR 555.57(b) - Failure to timely notify the following changes: Responsible Persons, and Employee Possessors
  • 27 CFR 555.125(b)(3) - Records Maintained by Permittees – Failure to enter required information (Date of Acquisition, Name/Brand of Manufacturer, ID marks, etc.)

Imports and National Firearms Act (NFA): 

  • NFA registration applications (and transfer applications): 386,210
  • NFA registrations processed (total weapons): 1,607,952
  • NFA making and transfer tax collected: $22,971,968
  • NFA special occupation tax collected: $6,371,032
  • Imports Form 6 non-immigrant alien processed: 7,886
  • Imports Form 6 processed: 6,865
  • Total import permit applications: 14,751

Tracing

ATF’s National Tracing Center (NTC) is the only organization authorized to trace U.S. and foreign manufactured firearms for international, Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies. NTC provides critical information that helps domestic and international law enforcement agencies solve firearms crimes, detect firearms trafficking, and track the intrastate, interstate, and international movement of crime guns.

  • NTC processed more than 408,000 trace requests

Certified Fire Investigators (CFI)

ATF’s CFIs provide support for fire and arson investigations throughout the entire United States, its territories and other countries.

  • ATF initiated 2,329 fire scene examinations in fiscal year 2017

National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN)

NIBIN provides federal, state and local law enforcement, forensic science, and prosecutors with an automated ballistic imaging system that will aid their investigations by using digital images of shell casings to link violent crimes involving firearms and subsequently identify firearm users or “trigger pullers.”

  • NIBIN partners have confirmed more than 110,000 NIBIN hits including 7,873 in fiscal year 2017
  • ATF certified more than 1,000 NIBIN users to use the network

Laboratories

In fiscal year 2017, ATF’s laboratories accomplished the following:

  • Received 2,888 requests for analysis and testing
  • Completed analysis on 2,561 forensic cases (FSL)
  • Completed analysis on 124 Fire Research Laboratory (FRL) engineering cases
  • Performed 155 laboratory research testing experiments (FRL)
  • Provided 98 days of expert testimony in the courts
  • Worked 227 days at crime scenes
  • Provided 760 days of instruction for federal, state and local investigators and forensic examiners

Budget

The agency’s FY2017 enacted budget was $1.258 billion.

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[1] Numbers provided are for the most notable areas and do not include all items identified by an industry operation investigator during an inspection.

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