If you would like to appeal a firearm denial, we can help you with our FBI - NICS Firearm Denial Appeals Service
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 (Brady Act) mandated that all federally licensed gun dealers and manufacturers request background checks on individuals attempting to purchase a firearm. The Brady Act required that the Attorney General establish the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, commonly known as NICS.
Beginning in 1998, federally licensed gun dealers and manufacturers were required to use NICS to obtain immediate information about prospective firearm purchasers to determine whether the individual is permitted to purchase a firearm. The NICS is a national system that checks available records on individuals to determine whether they are disqualified from receiving or purchasing a firearm under federal or state law.
Every year, thousands of prospective gun purchasers are erroneously delayed, or outright denied the purchase of a firearm. Many times those denials are based on outdated or incomplete information maintained by the databases used by the NICS. Thousands more are wrongly denied every year because the NICS has misidentified them and has incorrectly attributed a potentially prohibitive record to them.
Due to the Privacy Act of 1974, federally licensed gun dealers or manufacturers are not told why prospective buyers are being delayed or denied the purchase of a firearm. Denied gun purchasers are simply told they are ‘delayed’ or ‘denied’ with no underlying information provided. This can be incredibly embarrassing for a potential gun buyer, especially for someone whose denial is wrongful.
In order for a denied individual to be provided a reason for the delay or denial of their firearm purchase they submit a formal appeal in writing. Unfortunately, many individuals that are denied a firearm purchase either do not know that there is an appeals process, or simply do not know how to appeal a firearm purchase denial. In 2011, approximately only 1 in 5 individuals appealed and received a reason from NICS for their denial.1
Because so few people know how and/or take the time to appeal a firearm purchase denial, NICS’s mistakes are not conspicuous. However, they have wrongfully delayed and denied thousands of firearm purchasers since the creation of NICS; most often because the NICS could not identify the prospective purchaser or NICS erroneously concluded that a prospective purchaser had committed a crime that they hadn’t. It is in the best interest of every denied firearm purchaser to appeal the denial of a firearm purchase in order to ensure that all the information that appears on his or her record is accurate.
As the nation’s leading criminal record clearing law firm, the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates can help you successfully appeal your firearm denial if you were wrongfully denied and correct an inaccurate or incomplete entry on your record if necessary. If you firearm purchase denial was appropriate under the law, we can help you explore the available options to restore your firearm rights. We can also advise you of your firearm rights prior to the purchase of a weapon to avoid an embarrassing delay or denial.
For more information on record clearing and record expungement, visit our free expungement and record clearing information page or take our free online eligibility test.