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SCOTUS Strikes Down Chevron Deference

I'm not an attorney but rather a firearms dealer who has been following a legal case for the past several years called Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. That case involved the fishing industry and the federal government, yet it has many direct implications for the firearms industry particularly Second Amendment rights. Here is a very short summary of this case and why it is so important.

Since 1984 all courts have deferred judgement to federal government bureaucracies whenever there was ambiguous or unclear language within a bill written by Congress. That was referred to as the "Chevron Deference" or "Chevron Doctrine". The courts deferred to those agencies citing them as the "subject matter experts" within the fields which they regulate. That included giving federal agencies the power to create their own definitions and regulations aimed at providing themselves with more power to regulate industries. That power grabbing included the ATF.

However, what the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) struck down last week was the notion that federal agencies are given deference in court proceedings and that those agencies are no longer considered to be the only subject matter experts within their fields. SCOTUS essentially stated that federal agencies cannot rewrite federal laws just to suit themselves. Therefore, moving forward we will see many federal lawsuits against the ATF which challenge their ability to create regulations such as the Pistol Brace, Frames & Receiver, Engaged In The Business, and other areas involving firearms. This will be a long-term fight against the already created regulations. However, this should result in far fewer new regulations coming from the ATF as well as some of the existing regs being reversed Nationally.


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