ATF enforced the Federal laws and regulations relating to alcohol, tobacco products, firearms, explosives, and arson. On November 25, 2002, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 split the agency into two different agencies. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) was split into the Department of Justice, and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) was kept within the United States Department of the Treasury. The changes took effect in March 2003.
Some critics of the ATF consider it to have violated its mission of enforcement by participating in an violent attack on the Branch Davidians. ATF consider the raid as needed to serve warrants.