ATF Takes Hit at Supreme Court with Chevron Deference Being Struck Down

The United States Supreme Court has issued a 6 to 3 opinion that Chevron deference is overturned, a major blow to government agencies like the ATF, which make up their own laws and regulations outside of Congress.

This is a huge victory for gun owners who are sick and tired of the ATF making up rules and redefining things outside their authority. Bump stocks and pistol braces, anyone?

The only downside to the court’s opinion is that it is not retroactive. They are not undoing all the impact of Chevron deference from the past.

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That is not surprising, though, because it would likely be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to completely undo the damage done over the last 40 years. The Constitution does not allow federal agencies to make their own laws and regulations. That power belongs to Congress.

In the 114-page opinion, the Court concludes:

The Administrative Procedure Act requires courts to exercise their independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority, and courts may not defer to an agency interpretation of the law simply because a statute is ambiguous; Chevron is overruled.”


U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) was quick to recognize the massive victory this is for those who care about the Constitution. He posted on X:

Goodbye Chevron deference, hello again, Constitution!

Unelected bureaucrats cannot make the law, and our courts can once again protect the American people from them.”


Gun groups such as Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights also celebrated the victory on social media.

Justice Elena Kagan, in her dissent, said in part,

This Court has long understood Chevron deference to reflect what Congress would want, and so to be rooted in a presumption of legislative intent. Congress knows that it does not—in fact cannot—write perfectly complete regulatory statutes. It knows that those statutes will inevitably contain ambiguities that some other actor will have to resolve, and gaps that some other actor will have to fill.”


If there is ambiguity in the law, go back and fix the law.

State legislatures go back and redo laws all the time or clarify ambiguities in the law.

Over the last 10 years, the ATF’s actions have proven that Chevron deference is out of control and that the agencies need to be reined in from their power grabs.

Overturning Chevron deference is going to cause an utter meltdown in the gun grabbing community. Many of their recent victories have come from the federal government redefining certain types of weapons. Those days are gone.

What are your thoughts on Chevron deference being taken down? Let us know in the comments below.