The Gun Owners of America (GOA) backed lawsuit deals with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) banning bump stocks through changing the definition of a machine gun. Most bump stock cases primarily focus on the Second Amendment issue. This case’s primary focus is the ATF’s use of Chevron Difference to create new laws through regulation instead of going through Congress. The courts seem keener on tackling Chevron Deference than taking on Second Amendment issues.
Chevron Deference dates to 1984. In Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc, the United States Supreme Court set a legal test to determine whether to grant deference to a government agency’s interpretation of a statute. The test consists of two parts. The first is “whether the agency’s answer is based on a permissible construction of the statute.” The second is that Congress has not dealt with the exact issue in question.
GOA’s counsel argues Chevron Deference can be applied only to administrative law. They further state that since the definition of a machine gun is criminal law, that distinction means that the ATF cannot use Chevron Deference to redefine a machine to include bump stocks. A three-judge panel agreed with GOA’s reasoning and ordered the district court to enact an injunction against the ATF’s arbitrary ban of the item.
Because the court granted the Department of Justice (DOJ) an en banc rehearing of the case, the panel’s decision is vacated, which means the District Court will not issue an injunction against the bump stock ban until the full bench hears arguments from both GOA’s lawyers and the Government lawyers. For all intents and purposes, it is like the three-judge panel’s decision never happened.
Click the link to read the whole story: Sixth Circuits Grants DOJ En Banc Rehearing