How to Become an ATF Agent in Florida

The ATF in Florida has one of the largest firearms seizure rates of any state in the country, with 19,287 guns seized last year alone. Due to a combination of factors in Florida such as its climate, significant sea and air ports of entry, and large urban centers, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is frequently called upon to devote its skilled staff and resources to many of the state’s more challenging criminal cases.

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In a recent case agents arrested a man after discovering five fully automatic machine guns and a fully automatic handgun in the his possession. Because of the importance of the ATF’s presence in Florida, the Bureau maintains two regional headquarters, one in Tampa and one in Miami, in addition to several field offices located throughout the state.

ATF Hiring Requirements

Learning how to become an ATF Agent in Florida and the associated minimum eligibility requirements is an important first step for interested citizens. To join the Bureau, prospective agents can start by ensuring they are eligible for ATF jobs:

  • Ability to obtain top secret clearance
  • US citizenship
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Between the ages of 21-36 with exceptions for eligible veterans and federal police

Requirements for ATF careers also include having a bachelor’s degree in any subject, or either three years of increasingly challenging work experience in the fields of criminal investigations and law enforcement, or a combination of both education and experience.

A good academic history and a bachelor’s degree in any of the following majors can also qualify prospective agents for entry at a higher pay and rank:

  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Forensic Science
  • Police Science
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Criminal Justice


Application Requirements and Training

Submitting an application for ATF jobs is done online through the federal USA Jobs website. If there are no current vacancies, candidates can sign up to be notified of openings.

Applicants will also need to prepare for the following:

When an agent has been chosen for hire, he or she will then begin an extensive ATF training regimen. This starts out with 12 weeks spent at a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s Criminal Investigators Training Program, followed by 15 weeks of Special Agent Basic Training.

ATF Operations in Florida

Besides operations confined within the ATF, such as a recent weapons trafficking case orchestrated between agents in Tampa and San Francisco who gathered evidence to arrest three suspects on charges of shipping drugs and weapons through the mail, ATF Agents also frequently participate in joint enforcement operations. Recently in what was dubbed Operation Smoking Gun III, ATF Agents worked with local law enforcement and several additional federal agencies to arrest 97 suspects in Miami-Dade County.

This operation netted the following seizures:

  • 2,473 MDMA pills
  • 3,460 prescription pills
  • 248 firearms
  • Five bullet proof vests
  • Numerous kilograms of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and crack cocaine

The five cities within the state where the most firearms were recovered last year are:

  • Jacksonville – 1,965
  • Orlando – 1,536
  • Tampa – 1,486
  • Miami – 1,282
  • West Palm Beach – 651

Because of the need for a strong ATF presence throughout Florida, the Bureau maintains several field office locations:

  • Tampa, at 923 US Highway 301 South
  • Jacksonville, at 5210 Belfort Road
  • Orlando, at 3452 Lake Lynda Drive and 135 West Central Boulevard
  • Tallahassee, at 315 South Calhoun Street
  • Tampa, at 400 North Tampa Street and 923 US Highway 301
  • Fort Myers, at 12499 Brantley Commons Court
  • Gainesville, at 300 East University Avenue
  • Pensacola, at 41 North Jefferson Street
  • Panama City, at 3811 Frankfurt Avenue
  • Miami, at 11200 Northwest 20 Street
  • Fort Lauderdale, at 299 East Broward Boulevard
  • West Palm Beach, at 505 South Flagler Drive
  • Port Saint Lucie, at 1660 Saint Lucie West Boulevard

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