SCOTUS Grants Cert in Case That Could
End Deference to Regulatory Agencies

By LKB, TTAG Contributor. December 10, 2018

Sometimes, the biggest things the Supreme Court does can fly under the radar of just about everyone but the involved parties (and the law geeks). Today, the Supreme Court granted cert in a case that might bring a truly seismic change in the law -- including laws affecting gun owners.

By way of background (law geek mode: ON), we all know that Congress passes laws (subject to presidential veto and veto override procedures). However, in most cases, Congress leaves it to federal agencies to implement those laws, including promulgating the regulations that govern the nuts-and-bolts of how the law will works.

For example, the National Firearms Act of 1934 imposed a tax on the manufacture and transfer of machine guns, suppressors, SBS/SBR's, etc., and required them to be registered with the federal government. However, the '34 Act didn't specify how this would be done. .......

The chances of this going all the way to actually reduce federal powers regarding the Second Amendment, in particular with regard to the ATF, does seem rather remote. The ATF's interpretation of laws over time has been one of not only very obscure application but, more important, the tendency to progressively behave as its own legislature with few checks and balances. All this from a taxation agency formerly part of the United States Department of the Treasury.


Back to Top