To quell the debate over whether the ATF and the FBI can work together, Director of the FBI Robert S. Mueller III announced that he supports a relocation of firearms operations into the Justice Department, alongside the FBI.
According to the New York Times, the announcement came just hours after an FBI internal draft report was disclosed to the public. Allegedly, the report indicated that the FBI criticized the management, training, and skills of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and stated that a plan to restructure domestic security could damage the FBI's power in terror investigation.
However, in a recent nytimes.com article, an FBI official expressed that the FBI had given only a qualified endorsement of a proposal, internally, to move the criminal- and law enforcement operations of the A.T.F. from the Treasury Department to the Justice Department.
Furthermore, according to the above-mentioned article, The FBI supports the relocation plan but told the Justice Department it rejects two parts of the plan. First, the FBI does not support a plan to expand a bomb-training center, because that would simply develop a replica of work already done by the FBI at its bomb-training center in Atlanta. Second, the FBI also feels it is a duplication of services to expand the authority of the A.T.F. to investigate homeland terrorism cases involving arson, explosives, and firearms.