What can I do if I have the right to purchase a firearm, or think I do, but I fail to pass the NICS background check?
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) was mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1983. It was established for Federal Firearms Licensees (“FFLs”) to determine in real time whether a purchaser of a firearm is prohibited under the exclusions of state and federal law, such as are persons who are convicted felons, subject to a domestic restraining order (after a hearing), or convicted of a crime of domestic violence.
However, the records on the NICS criminal background system come from many places and sources and sometimes are incorrect. Incorrect data in the NICS system results in a person attempting to purchase a firearm being delayed or denied by the NICS system. Correcting inaccurate information to update the NICS system is cumbersome and often a lengthy process, even for attorneys, as it may require going back and trying to correct a mistake or typographical error made in a case years or decades before. Usually, this must occur first before a NICS appeal is successful to correct an erroneous NICS denial. This is sometimes known as an FBI NICS appeal.
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys routinely handle firearms matters, including the NICS denial appeal. The key item for the attorney is the NICS Transaction Number (“NTN”) or State Transaction Number (“STN”). Sometimes even previous lawful purchasers and lawful possessors of firearms will face a NICS denial upon a subsequent attempt to purchase additional firearms. In this case, potential purchasers, who experience delays or erroneous NICS denials, may apply to be considered for entry into the Voluntary Appeal File by authorizing the NICS section to retain information that would otherwise be destroyed after the NICS denial.