How to Become an ATF Agent in Utah

According to information published by the Firearms Tracing Center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Utah, 865 firearms were recovered and traced in Utah in 2011. They included:

  • 2 machine guns
  • 2 destructive devices
  • 4 Derringers
  • 115 shotguns
  • 119 revolvers
  • 202 rifles
  • 421 pistols
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Crimes committed with these firearms include (but are not limited to) possession of weapon, dangerous drugs, family offenses, suicide, homicide, and aggravated assault. Recovering illegal weapons to prevent these kinds of tragic crimes is just one of the many job duties performed by ATF agents in Utah.

Utah’s ATF agents are often required to work closely with state and local law enforcement agencies. Examples of Utah law enforcement agencies with whom they might work include:

  • West Valley City Police Department
  • Salt Lake City Police Department
  • West Jordan Police Department
  • Provo City Police Department

As well as Sheriff’s offices in:

  • Weber County (Ogden)
  • Utah County (Spanish Fork and Provo)
  • Summit County (Park City)
  • Morgan County (Morgan)
  • Box Elder County (Brigham City)


Fulfilling the Criteria to Become an ATF Agent in Utah

Prospective ATF agents must fulfill certain criteria regarding age, physical condition, education and experience before they qualify to fill ATF agent jobs in Utah.

Basic Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be between 21 and 36 ½ years of age
  • Be able to carry a firearm/ammunition under the law
  • Be able to relocate
  • Be registered with selective service if required

Physical and Other Requirements

  • Pass the ATF Physical Task Test, including a 1.5- mile run, push-ups and sit- ups and push-ups
  • Pass the ATF Special Agent Exam
  • Pass a drug screening test
  • Pass a physical exam
  • Pass a thorough background investigation

Education and Experience Requirements

  • Entry level: Education and/or experience is vital to becoming an ATF agent in Utah. To get an entry-level, Grade 5 job, one must either hold a bachelor’s degree, have three years of law enforcement or criminal justice experience, or have a combination of both.
  • Advanced level (Grades 7 and 9): this level requires that one hold a graduate degree. Common degrees found in Grade 7 and Grade 9 ATF agents in Utah are:
    • Master degree in sociology
    • Master degree in psychology
    • Master degree in political science
    • Master degree in criminal justice
    • L.L.B. or J.D. degree


Training for Utah ATF Jobs

In order to perform the duties of an ATF agent in Utah, new hires must complete 27 weeks of training, divided into two parts. The first part, occurring at the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Glynco, GA, is the Criminal Investigators Training Program (CITP). This 12-week training program includes training in the following processes and techniques:

  • Federal court procedures
  • Basic firearms training
  • Crime scene management
  • Surveillance
  • Interviewing
  • Handcuffing
  • Physical techniques
  • Driving techniques

The second part of training for new Utah ATF agents also occurring in Glynco, at the ATF National Academy, is Special Agent Basic Training (SABT). This 15-week training program involves procedures and practices necessary for ATF agents in Utah, such as:

  • Physical training
  • Undercover operations
  • Tactical and firearms training
  • Explosive and arson investigations
  • Alcohol and tobacco diversion investigations
  • Report writing
  • Interviewing
  • Firearms trafficking
  • Identifying ammunition and firearms


ATF Field Offices in Utah

Utah is part of the Denver Field Division of the ATF. There are two field offices within the state of Utah:

    • Salt Lake City I Field Office, housing the Resident Agent in Charge and Criminal Enforcement. This office handles information on:
      • Law enforcement matters relating to firearms, tobacco, explosives and arson
      • Suspected criminal activity related to arson, tobacco or explosives
      • Suspected illegal possession, sales or purchase of firearms


  • Salt Lake City II Field Office, housing the Area Supervisor and Industry Operations. This office handles information on:
    • Firearms and explosive industry questions
    • Sale, purchase and transfer of explosives, ammunition or firearms
    • Shipping firearms
    • Firearms and ammunition and related issues
    • Machineguns, silencers and other NFA weapons
    • Licenses for firearms or explosives (FFL and FEL)
    • Firearms theft or loss from licensees


Utah ATF Agents and Operation Predator

In 2005, a multiagency effort was begun in Utah to target repeat offenders and get them off the streets. It is called Operation Predator and involves cooperation between the Utah ATF, the Utah Department of Corrections Adult Probation and Parole, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Project Safe Neighborhoods.

The objective of this operation is to target armed re-offenders who are dangerous to the community. Under Operation Predator, these criminals can qualify as Armed Career Criminals or Career Offenders, in which case they face sentences of 15 years to life in a federal prison not in Utah. Some of the main criteria are criminals with at least three felony convictions, a domestic violence record or a history of gang affiliation. Utah ATF agents have played a large role in the success of Operation Predator in the state.

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