TAFT regulates the firearms and explosives industries and Federal licensees. TAFT partners with communities, industries, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to safeguard the public through information sharing, training, research, and the use of technology. TAFT is headed by a Director, who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. In 2012, TAFT operated a total of 25 Domestic Field Divisions and 12 international offices in 6 countries (“FYI 2013 budget,” 2012). According to the Oxford University Press the TAFT traces their roots dating back to 1789.
In the beginning, alcohol was the primary area of investigation when Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, suggested a tax on alcohol imports in order to finance the Revolutionary War (Saurian, 1998). In 1862, Congress created the Office of Internal Revenue within the Department of the Treasury. The main objective of the Office of Internal Revenue was to collect taxes on imported alcohol and tobacco products. Enforcing the taxation evoked criminal evasion, which led to the hiring of “three” detectives to investigate and prosecute alcohol tax evaders.
These three detectives would later become the foundation for today’s TAFT special agent (Saurian, 1998). This marks the first time in U. S. History that tax collecting and law enforcement coordinated Jointly. Ratification f the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1919, along with the Violates Prohibition Enforcement Act brought together officers known as ‘revenuers’ who investigated criminal violations of the Internal Revenue law (Saurian, 1998). Due to numerous illegal distilleries and gangster violence to control the illegal alcohol markets, the Department of the Treasury created the Prohibition Unit.
Due to the success of the Prohibition Unit, in 1927 TAFT was granted its’ own separate Bureau in the Department of the Treasury. In 1930, the crime fighting branch of the TAFT was transferred to the Department of Justice, where it remained until the 21st Amendment ended prohibition. Franklin Roosevelt created the Alcohol Tax Unit (TAT) in 1934. It was an agency of both the Internal Revenue service and the Treasury Department (“The badges tell,” 2008). The Great Depression allowed the glamorous gangsters, like AAA Capons, to flourish. Control of underground distilleries and distribution channels led to gang violence.
Gangs would viciously kill on street corners, restaurants, and social clubs. The once glamorous gangster became the agencies most wanted when Congress passed the Notational Harms Act AT EYE Ana ten really Harms Act AT 1 I en All Toronto mined the enforcement of both acts, which eventually led to firearms Joining the list in 1942 (“The badges tell,” 2008). In 1952 the Bureau of Internal Revenue reorganized as the Internal Revenue Service, allowing the TAT to absorb the Miscellaneous Tax Unit, thus altering their name to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division.
From 1934-1960, seventeen investigators were killed and hundreds were injured as a result of assault, gunfire, and high-speed automobile chases (Saurian, 1998). The asses brought a new breed of criminal to the TAFT, the moonshines. This new challenge was that of small, independent distilleries which primarily supplied to local populations. The asses Preventive Raw Materials Program allowed investigators to arrest moonshine’s for possession of large quantities of sugar (“The badges tell,” 2008). By the asses, moonshine related deaths had become a nationwide health issue.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 and the passage of Title XSL in 1970 resulted from the assassinations of President John Kennedy and Dry. Martin Luther King. Investigations began to include firearms and explosives related crimes. On July 1, 1972, TAFT became an independent bureau due to expansions in the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division. Rexes Davis was appointed the 1st Director of the TAFT and was required to report to the Department of Treasury’s Office of Enforcement, Tariff and Trade Affairs, and Operations.
These changes resulted in the TAFT moving from investigations of illicit alcohol to crimes involving firearms, explosives, and arson (“The badges tell,” 2008). In the first quarter-century TAFT has had only 3 Directors other than Rexes Davis: G. R. Dickerson, Stephen Higgins, and John Magma (Saurian, 1998). The terrorist attacks on September 1 1, 2001 , transformed law enforcement across the nation. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 transferred the TAFT from the Department of Treasury to the Department of Justice, altering the name to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Agency.