Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Issues Related to Use of Force, Dealer Licensing, and Data Restrictions Gao ID: T-GGD-96-104 April 25, 1996

In recent years, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has come under public criticism and congressional scrutiny, in part due to accusations that ATF agents used excessive force in carrying out their responsibilities. This report discusses (1) ATF's policies on using deadly force; (2) the way in which ATF conveys its policies to its agents; (3) the reasons for and the extent to which ATF uses dynamic entries and the equipment it uses to make them; and (4) ATF's compliance with its procedures for investigating shooting and alleged excessive use-of-force incidents. GAO compares ATF's policy, training, and review process on the use of force with those at the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI.

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