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Gun Background Check Denial Appeal Process


Gun background check deny

Filing an Gun Background Check Denial Appeal:
If you believe you have been erroneously denied a firearm transfer based on a match to a record returned by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), you may request an appeal of your deny decision. The provisions for appeals are outlined in the NICS Regulations at Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 25.10, and Subsection 103 (f) and (g) and Section 104 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993.
Requesting an Appeal

You may request the reason for your denial by writing to:

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Criminal Justice Information Services Division
NICS Section
Appeal Services Team, Module A-1
Post Office Box 4278
Clarksburg, WV 26302-4278

You must include the required information (listed below) along with your appeal request:


You may also request the reason for your denial through the NICS Section’s Appeal website or via the NICS Section’s Appeal facsimile listed on the back of this brochure.

Failure to submit all required appeal information may result in the rejection of your appeal request.

An Official FBI Fingerprint Card is included. The submission of your (rolled or a hard copy of your electronically scanned) fingerprints may help accelerate the appeal process. NOTE: Appeal Fingerprint Cards are not accepted via facsimile.

The NICS Section’s Appeal Services Team (AST) will respond to your initial appeal request by providing you with the general reason for denial within five business days.

Appealing your Denial

The following information outlines the steps you must take to either challenge your record or make a claim the record used as the basis for your denial does not pertain to you.

Questions of Identity

In cases involving criminal history records, if fingerprints are not submitted along with your initial appeal request, you may subsequently be required to submit your fingerprints to establish positive proof of your identity. If your fingerprints are required by the NICS Section and you wish to further the appeal process, you must have your fingerprint impressions rolled or electronically scanned by law enforcement or another authorized fingerprinting agency. The agency preparing your fingerprints must provide an agency name, address, telephone number, and an Originating Agency Identification number (as assigned by the FBI) and the legible signature of the person who rolled your fingerprints on the fingerprint card. The reason fingerprinted should be marked “For NICS Purposes.” The omission of any required information (as listed above) may result in a rejection of your fingerprint card.

NOTE: Specific appeal information can only be provided to you once positive proof of identity has been established via the submission of your fingerprints.

Record Challenges

You may challenge the accuracy of the record used in the evaluation of your denial or declare your rights to obtain a firearm have been restored, etc. If you have additional information (e.g., court documentation) to assist the AST in correcting or updating the record, you should include the information with your written correspondence.

If the AST is unable to resolve your appeal, you will be provided referral information to contact the agency maintaining the record. For correction of the record, you must follow procedures established by the state or federal agency maintaining the original record. You may submit any information to the originating agency to assist with the correction or update of your record. (This may also help accelerate the appeal process for you.) If the originating agency corrects your record, the AST must be notified and provided documentation indicating such. The AST will evaluate and verify the information and provide you with a decision on your appeal in writing.

Appeal Inquiry

All appeal inquiries must be directed to the AST in writing. Due to the Privacy Act of 1974, specific information cannot be disseminated to you via the telephone.

Successful Appeal

If your appeal is successful, you will be notified by the AST, via U.S. mail, your denial has been overturned and you currently have no firearm prohibitions. You will be issued documentation which must be presented to the Federal Firearms Licensee who initiated your background check.

Source: FBI Appeals Brochure

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