How to Become an ATF Agent in Tennessee

Tennessee ATF agents are faced with the challenge of investigating criminal violations of federal laws related to firearms, arson, explosives, alcohol and tobacco. Within the past few years, violent crime in the state has been on the rise. In fact, Tennessee was recently named the state with the highest violent crime rate in the country.

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The duties of a Special Agent working out of one of Tennessee’s ATF offices include:

  • Investigating federal law criminal violations within the jurisdiction of Tennessee
  • Conducting investigations that relate to explosives, arson, firearms, tobacco and alcohol
  • Testifying for the Federal government in court proceedings or before a grand jury
  • Prepare concise investigative reports
  • The gathering and analyzing of evidence through leads, arrests, seizures, and execution of search warrants


Meeting ATF Agent Job Requirements

In order to become an ATF agent in Tennessee applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Have a current drivers license
  • Complete the ATF agent applicant questionnaire
  • Complete and pass the ATF agent exam
  • Complete and pass the ATF agent assessment test
  • Complete and pass the ATF Pre-Employment Physical Task Test
  • Successfully complete a field panel interview (writing same required)

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree to apply for an entry-level agent position. The entry-level positions are designated as GL-05 and GL-07 (Government Liaison).

Applicants typically major in criminal justice, sociology, psychology, and political science. A degree in these fields will surely pay off when conducting investigations. Agents must also have a keen eye for details, excellent cognitive skills and excellent problem solving skills.

Tennessee’s ATF Special Agents must be tough – both mentally and physically – and capable of handling a rigorous two-part training regimen.

Training to Become an ATF Special Agent in Tennessee

All newly hired ATF agents are required to undergo a two-part training program. The first part of the training program consists of the CITP (Criminal Investigators Training Program). CITP runs about 12 weeks, but may be waived for new-hires that have already attended a CITP training course with another federal agency. Successful completion is required to secure employment.

The second portion of the training is the SABT (Special Agent Basic Training). The SABT training program is approximately 15 weeks long, and is designed to provide all the foundational requirements of a newly hired ATF Special Agent. Successful completion is required to secure employment.

After training requirements are successfully completed, all new agents are put on a three-year probationary period.

Working out of the Nashville ATF Division Field Office

ATF Special Agents throughout Tennessee and Alabama work under the auspices of the Nashville ATF Division Office. Nashville’s ATF agents combat arson and the illegal use of explosives in partnership with local fire investigators and state police. ATF Special Agents in Nashville deal with crimes unrelated to arson as well.

In December of 2012, as a result of evidence gathered in a months-long ATF investigation, a federal jury found Corey Lamont guilty for his role in carrying out and planning three armed robberies in the Nashville area. Guilty verdicts such as this one help highlight ATF Nashville’s commitment to taking down federal criminals operating in Tennessee.

In addition to the main Field Office in Nashville, there are multiple satellite offices in the following locations:

  • Chattanooga Field Office
  • Jackson Satellite Office
  • Johnson City Satellite Office
  • Knoxville Field Office
  • Memphis Satellite Office

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