On April 19th, new legislation to combat errors of the National Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was introduced by Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN). H.R. 4980, the Firearm Due Process Protection Act, affords those who are denied a firearm purchase an effective and expeditious means of correcting any misinformation that would erroneously cause such a result.
Due process is a fundamental pillar of the American constitutional system, and the NRA commends Rep. Emmer on his efforts in introducing this legislation.
In January, we reported on the alarming news that the FBI had “temporarily” suspended work on processing appeals of denials issued by NICS. The backlog of pending appeals at the time stood at 7,100. As we noted in that article, FBI data from 2014 showed that some 5% of the denials rendered by NICS that year were later overturned on appeal, meaning 4,411 people who had initially been erroneously denied were later able to vindicate their rights.
Rep. Emmers bill would address these problems in several ways. First, it would require the government to make a final determination on an appeal within 60 days after it received information in support of the claim. If the matter was not resolved within this timeframe, the individual would have the right to bring an action in federal court for a declaratory judgment on the person’s eligibility to receive and possess a firearm; a hearing would have to be held within 30 days after the action is brought.
To read more about this and other important gun legislation, visit www.nraila.org.