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Features Q&A
Q&A: Chris Taylor

January 10, 2024  By Brittani Schroeder


Photo credit: Chris Taylor

Recently, editor Brittani Schroeder spoke with Chris Taylor, the ATF Attaché in Canada, about the role of the ATF in Canada, training for law enforcement and the new firearms tracing centre in Quebec.

Q: Chris, you have over 34 years’ experience working for the U.S. government, with your latest role being the ATF Attaché in Canada. For those who don’t know, what does ATF do in Canada? What is this partnership between the U.S. and Canada so important?

A fair number of people don’t know that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) plays a critical role in promoting public safety and security through its law enforcement, regulatory and public education efforts. I have been working at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Ontario for over 4 years and I love my job and I love living in Canada. I have travelled to every province multiple times meeting with police and public safety officials finding out ways in which ATF can support their mission of reducing violent crime involving firearms, explosives and fire.

In Canada, we focus on supporting the domestic mission to combat violent crime. Ultimately, we achieve this by fostering strong relationships with Canadian law enforcement agencies, while also coordinating with U.S. agencies to share intelligence and resources. We implement training programs to enhance the skills and capabilities of Canadian law enforcement personnel and provide technical assistance to Canadian authorities in investigations related to firearms trafficking and explosives. ATF also supports bilateral investigations that target cross-border criminal activity.

The partnership between the U.S. and Canada is crucial. We share a long and porous border, which makes it very easy for criminals to traffic firearms and other illegal goods between the two countries. Many criminal organizations also operate across this border, which poses a threat to public safety in both countries.

Working together allows us to share intelligence, coordinate investigations and develop effective strategies to combat crime. We can learn a lot from one another and leverage each other’s expertise and resources to improve our law enforcement efforts across the board.

Q: A large focus has been placed on training. What types of training do you do with Canadian law enforcement?

In 2023, we were able to train over 4,100 Canadian law enforcement officers through 55 training sessions on a variety of topics. Some of these included firearms trafficking investigations, firearms tracing, explosives investigations, serial number restoration, violent crime investigations and crime gun intelligence analysis.

We also like to provide more specialized training courses, such as the international post blast investigation course, which teaches investigators how to respond to and investigate explosions. In spring 2024, we’re offering the first ATF Arson Investigations course as well.

Q: Earlier this year, the first-ever provincial tracing centre was opened in Quebec. Can you tell us more about it?

AFT Canada played a key role in assisting the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) in opening the first provincial tracing centre (QFTC) in Montreal. This centre has been instrumental in increasing the number of firearms being traced in Quebec.

In the first year of operation, the QFTC has traced over 3,000 firearms, which represents a 3900 per cent increase from 2021. This, along with an increase in firearms traces by the RCMP’s Canadian National Firearms Tracing Centre (CNFTC) and Ontario’s Firearms Analysis & Tracing Enforcement (FATE) program has led to over 200 investigative referrals to ATF domestic field offices.

I am confident that the partnership between ATF and Canadian law enforcement agencies will continue to be successful in reducing firearms trafficking and violent crime in both countries.


Editor’s note: If you are interested in getting involved with ATF Canada’s training opportunities, please reach out to ATFCanada@atf.gov.


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