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Wrongful Denial of Firearm Purchase/Transfer

Redmond Law Group Oct. 3, 2023

Gun and Gavel in dark tableGetting a denial when trying to purchase or transfer a firearm can be frustrating and confusing. If you believe you have been wrongfully denied a firearm, I can help. As a gun rights attorney at Redmond Law Group, I am dedicated to fighting for clients to protect their constitutional right to gun ownership. I have helped many of my clients in Troy, Michigan, and throughout Oakland and Macomb counties to turn around an adverse decision when trying to purchase or receive a firearm.  

What Are Your Second Amendment Rights?

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains just twenty-seven words but it guarantees one of the most fundamental freedoms in the country – the right to keep and bear arms. While some people interpret the Second Amendment differently, a general consensus among courts is that the amendment protects the right of American citizens to arm themselves and prevents the government from infringing on that right.  

What Is the Gun Control Act?

The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) is a federal law that regulates firearms ownership in the United States and the country’s firearms industry as a whole. The law is aimed at preventing people from possessing firearms if they do not meet the age-related requirements, do not pass criminal background checks, or are not mentally competent under the law.  

In particular, the GCA regulates the following:  

  • who is permitted and who is not permitted to legally purchase, sell, and possess firearms; 

  • how the sale, purchase, and transfer of firearms must take place;  

  • what firearms are prohibited; and, 

  • restrictions on the locations for firearm possession.  

The GCA also contains provisions regarding background checks for firearm purchases. Current federal law in the United States makes background checks mandatory whenever an individual attempts to buy firearms from a licensed gun dealer. Unlicensed private sellers, on the other hand, are not required to conduct background checks.  

Wrongful Denial of a Firearm Purchase or Transfer

An individual may be denied the purchase or transfer of a firearm for lawful reasons such as being a convicted felon, having a domestic violence conviction, being dishonorably discharged from the military, and others. However, in the absence of lawful reasons to deny a firearm, such a denial may be considered “wrongful.” Examples of a wrongful deal of a firearm purchase include but are not limited to: 

  • Mistaken identity. If the licensed gun dealer performs a background check and finds the potential buyer’s name in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), but the buyer and the individual whose name shows up during the check are not the same person, the denial is most likely “wrongful.” 

  • Gun rights have not been restored yet. If the person who attempts to buy a firearm had their gun rights taken away from them (e.g., after committing a felony) but then successfully restored their right, their firearm purchase/transfer may be wrongfully denied if the system has not been updated yet and their name was not removed from the NICS database as a prohibited person.  

These are not the only instances of wrongful denial of firearm purchase or transfer. If you think you have been wrongfully denied a firearm, you might wonder, “What can I do about the denial?” You need to consult with an attorney first. Depending on the facts surrounding your denial, your attorney may take the following steps: 

  1. file an appeal request and provide supporting documentation, if available, to prove that the denial was wrongful;  

  1. submit a Voluntary Appeal File (VAF) to confirm your status as a lawful firearm purchaser with law enforcement; or, 

  1. file a lawsuit in federal court to reverse the denial.  

Even if you lost your gun rights before, you have the same rights as everyone else after your rights have been fully reinstated. In other words, you should not be treated differently when trying to purchase or receive a firearm. However, as a gun rights restoration and expungement attorney, I would still review your criminal record and, if necessary, pursue an expungement or pardon on your behalf to ensure that your rights are restored and reinstated.  

Trustworthy Legal Counsel: Redmond Law Group

Gun laws can be very complex as they involve both federal and state law regulations. If you believe your firearm purchase or transfer has been wrongfully denied, you might want to speak with me to discuss your best course of action. At Redmond Law Group, I can explain why your firearm purchase/transfer was denied and help you understand your options for challenging the denial. Contact my office today to request a consultation.