Daniel G. O’Kelly, ATF Special Agent – Retired
Having been a life-long student of firearm design, history, manufacture and use, Mr. O’Kelly began his professional career with 10 years experience as a Police Patrolman and Detective in Northwest Indiana. Having been a certified firearm range instructor since 1981, including being a builder and collector of firearms and ammunition, he is a factory trained Armorer for thirteen gun companies. He has toured and done research at numerous firearm and ammunition factories and firearm reference collections across the U.S., Europe and Africa, and regularly presents seminars on firearm enforcement / technology / markings / ammunition to law enforcement, licensed dealers and collectors.
Having earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, he became a Special Agent in 1988 for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). His duties were the investigation of criminal law violations relating to arson, bombings, explosives, organized crime, drug trafficking, and alcohol/tobacco diversion. In 1996, he was assigned as the Lead Instructor of Firearm Technology on staff at the ATF National Academy. Special Agent O’Kelly was placed in charge of the ATF Undercover Training Program in 1998-99, and has successfully worked undercover netting international gun traffickers in Europe, as well as having infiltrated organized crime groups in the U.S. One of his most recent cases was covered by the New York Times and Rolling Stone magazine. He has been qualified as an expert firearm witness in U.S. District Court since 1990, and has been qualified to teach firearm interstate nexus and testimony for ATF since 2001. In 2000, he became ATF’s Resident Agent in Charge of the State of Delaware, and in 2002 he was appointed as the Firearm Instructor Coordinator of the Tampa Field Division for ATF. Mr. O’Kelly also served as an interim Federal Air Marshall for months after 9/11, and has served on personal protection details for the President of the United States, and several Foreign Ministers. He has also served at the United Nations General Assembly.
His extensive experience as a subject matter expert and trial witness has resulted in his being commended by the U.S Attorneys’ Office. In two cases he broke new ground, being able to testify to the interstate nexus of firearms that only appeared in evidence as photographs, resulting in federal felony convictions, including multiple bank robberies.
Daniel has taught several times at the International Law Enforcement Academies in Europe and Africa, and has taught firearm technology and markings seminars to thousands of law enforcement personnel and licensed dealers nationwide. In 2003 he co-wrote the program establishing the Certified Firearm Specialist program for ATF at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
His certifications include:
- Federal Law Enforcement Academy Firearm Instructor
- NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor
- Firearms Training Simulator (FATS) (Train the Trainer Course)
- Simunitions Scenario-Based Training (Train the Trainer Course)
- Pressure Point Control Technique (PPCT) Instructor
- Aerko International Chemical Weapons Instructor
- Youth Crime-Gun Interdiction Initiative (YCGII) Instructor
- ATF Interstate Nexus Instructor
Mr. O’Kelly still serves as a consultant for ATF on firearm/ammunition interstate nexus, and he recently served as a Senior Manager for one of the largest firearm retailers in the U.S. He is also a member of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the International Association for Identification (IAI), the International Ammunition Association (IAA), and is a Benefactor member of the National Rifle Association (NRA).