How to Become an ATF Agent in Louisiana

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, about two-thirds of all illegal firearms in Louisiana are confiscated from residents of either New Orleans or Baton Rouge. However this is only one aspect of the job entrusted to these professionals, who also pursue crimes involving flammable or explosive devices.

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As the criminal mind is capable of thinking of any number of violations that fall into the ATF’s realm of expertise, agents come from a foundation based on years of education, experience, and training.

ATF Agent jobs in Louisiana are based from one of several regional offices in:

  • Baton Rouge at 5757 Corporate Boulevard
  • Metairie at 1 Galleria Boulevard
  • Shreveport at 400 Texas Street


Qualifying through Education to Become an ATF Agent

There are several requirements for ATF jobs which prospective agents will need to meet, not least among these being education.

Education – Applicants at the entry federal GL-05 level need to have a bachelor’s degree or otherwise substitute for this with either three years of experience conducting criminal investigations, or a combination of both education and experience.

By having a degree with a good academic record in the following subjects, applicants will be eligible for entry at the federal GL-07 level, which means a higher rank and pay than those meeting the basic GL-05 requirements:

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

Basic Requirements – Besides having the right education, those interested in becoming an ATF Agent will need to meet some other basic requirements:

  • Be able to obtain a top secret security clearance
  • Be a US citizen with a driver’s license
  • Be between the ages of 21-36, unless a federal law enforcement officer or veteran

Application – When filling out an ATF application through the USA Jobs website, candidates should also confirm they can qualify by taking the following required examinations:

Training – Before receiving their first assignment, ATF Agents will have graduated from over half a year – approximately 27 weeks – of intensive training spread over two essential courses: the Criminal Investigators Training Program and Special Agent Basic Training. Applicable training for ATF careers in Louisiana based on the following recent New Orleans cases includes:

  • Explosive device training
  • Surveillance and suspect apprehension techniques
  • Witness and suspect interviewing
  • Field operations
  • Explosives investigations


High Profile ATF Busts To Take Place in Louisiana in Recent Years

Although not typical, these following cases in New Orleans dealing with explosives all happened within a short time frame of each other and despite their temporal proximity, appear to be unrelated:

  • ATF Special Agents recently investigated a double arson attack involving three Molotov cocktails which resulted in the destruction of a convenience store and charges filed against three suspects. The agents were able to collect enough evidence to secure convictions against all three suspects.
  • ATF Agents and the New Orleans Bomb Squad were recently called to the scene of a bank to find a truck rigged with a liquid bomb. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the owner of the truck, who was subsequently arrested, had recently reported it stolen and had then proceeded to file a false insurance claim.
  • A New Orleans federal court recently charged four suspects with serious crimes relating to their scheme to transport dangerous weapons through Louisiana to drug cartels in Mexico. The illegal operation was revealed by undercover ATF Agents, who obtained enough evidence to charge the suspects with conspiracy to transport:


    • 60 Colt M-4 automatic assault rifles
    • 50 fully automatic AK-47s
    • 30 M-60 Grenades
    • Multiple grenade launchers

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