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Fact Sheet - Facts and Figures for Fiscal Year 2015

March, 2016
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Fast Facts

  1. ATF closed 8,262 cases that had been recommended for prosecution in 2015 or a previous fiscal year.

  2. ATF has 10,156 active explosives licensees and permittees and 139,484 active federal firearms licensees.

  3. ATF conducted 8,696 firearm compliance inspections in 2015.

Personnel

  • Special Agents (1811): 2,618
  • Industry Operations Investigators (1801 and 1854): 811
  • Administrative/Professional/Technical: 1,597
  • Total Employees: 5,026
  • Field Divisions: 25

Cases:

ATF closed 8,262 cases that had been recommended for prosecution in 2015 or a previous fiscal year.  

  • Recommended for prosecution: 7,516
  • Indicted cases: 5,503
  • Convicted cases: 4,031
  • Criminal group and gang cases: 1,035

Defendants:

  • Recommended for prosecution:12,378
  • Prior Arrests: 112,532 or an average of 8.5 prior arrests per defendant recommended for prosecution.
  • Prior Convictions: 29,673 or an average of 2.4 prior convictions per defendant recommended for prosecution.
  • Defendants indicted: 8,847
  • Number convicted: 6,160
  • Received life sentence: 78
  • Received death sentences: 5

In fiscal year 2015 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 2015.  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: 27,228
  • Number of arson cases: 2,645
  • Number of explosives cases: 978
  • Number of alcohol & tobacco cases: 26

Firearms Licensees:

ATF has 139,484 active Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL)

  • 56,181 Type 01-Dealer
  • 8,152 Type 02-Pawnbroker
  • 60,652 Type 03-Collector
  • 2,603 Type 06-Manufacturer of Ammunition
  • 10,498 Type 07-Manufacturer of Firearms
  • 1,152 Type 08-Importer
  • 66 Type 09-Dealer of Destructive Devices
  • 315 Type 10-Manufacturer of Destructive Devices
  • 221 Type 11 – Importer of Destructive Devices

Inspections:

ATF conducted the following firearm compliance inspections: 8,696

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

  • No violations: 3,848 - (44.25%)
  • Report of violations: 1,162 - (13.36%)
  • Warning letter: 1,021 - (11.74%)
  • Warning conference: 444 - (5.11%)
  • Revocations/Denials:46 - (0.53%)
  • Surrender in Lieu of Revocation:20 - (0.23)
  • Other (out of business, etc): (24.77%)

Most frequently cited violations:

  • Failure to timely record entries in bound record (Acquisition and Disposition Book) - 27 CFR 478.125e
  • Transferee did not properly complete Section A, F 4473 - 27 CFR 124(c)(1)
  • 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 misdocumented 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 failed to obtain and/or document purchaser’s Identification document - 27 CFR 478.124(c)(3)(i)
  • Licensee did not sign and date F 4473 - 27 CFR 478.124 (c)(5)
  • 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 disposed of firearm to a person he had reasonable cause to believe was prohibited - 27 CFR 478.99(c)

Number of firearms inventory discrepancies found during compliance inspections:

  • 78,438 Initial discrepancies
  • 7,707 Final discrepancies (after reconciliation)
  • Firearms application inspections conducted: 10,981
  • 9,076 approved
  • 1,905 denied, abandoned withdrawn

Explosives Licensees:

ATF has 10,156 active explosives licensees and permittees.

TYPE

NUMBER

User

6,248
Manufacturer 2,225
Dealer 547
Dealer Black Powder 498
Importer 516
Limited Permit 122
User Limited 0
Total 10,156
  • Explosives compliance inspections conducted: 5,267
  • Explosives application inspections conducted: 874

Explosive compliance inspections resulted in the following recommendations:

  • No violations: 3,330 (63.2)
  • Report of violations: 371 (7.0%)
  • Warning letter: 145 (2.7%)
  • Warning conference: 47 (0.9%)
  • Revocations sought: 5 (0.09%)
  • Other (Out of Business, etc): 785 (26.0%)

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): 308,563
  • NFA registrations processed (total weapons): 1,426,211
  • NFA making and transfer tax collected: $32,461,864
  • NFA special occupation tax collected: $5,416,886
  • Imports Form 6 non-immigrant alien processed: 9,102
  • Imports Form 6 processed: 8,713
  • Total import permit applications: 18,199

Tracing

ATF’s National Tracing Center (NTC) is the country's only crime gun tracing facility. 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 373,000 trace requests.

Certified Fire Investigators (CFI)

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

  • ATF conducted 2,646 fire and arson investigations.

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 78,000 NIBIN hits including 7,866 in fiscal year 2015.
  • ATF certified more than 1,100 NIBIN users to use the network.

Laboratories

In fiscal year 2015, ATF’s laboratories accomplished the following:

  • Received 2,457 requests for analysis and testing
  • Completed analysis on 1,975 forensic cases (FSL)
  • Performed 190 laboratory case testing experiments (FRL)
  • Performed 152 laboratory research testing experiments (FRL)
  • Provided 87 days of expert testimony in the courts
  • Worked 177 days at crime scenes
  • Provided 834 days of training instruction for federal, state and local investigators and examiners

Budget

  • The agency’s 2015 enacted budget is about $1.201 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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