How to Appeal for the Purchase of a Gun When It Is Denied

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Purchases of a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer (FFL) must have the prior approval returned by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This normally takes a few minutes of time between the FFL and NICS on the phone. However, occasionally the system confuses people who are eligible to purchase a firearm with those who are not and returns a denial. When that happens the customer can file an appeal with FBI NICS Section. The appeal process information is provided by 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.

  • Write a letter to explaining the circumstances of the situation. Provide your full name and complete mailing address. When the FFL notified you that the purchase was denied he also gave you the NCIS Transaction Number or State Transaction Number. Include the number with your letter.

  • Mail the letter 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

  • Include a fingerprint card as an option. According to the FBI "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."

  • Wait up to five days for a response from the NICS Section's Appeal Services Team. They will send your approval via the mail, along with a letter for your FFL. If the appeal is denied because of adverse information on your file then you must contact the organization providing the FBI the information and correct it with them. The Appeal Team will then take a look at the corrected information and make a further determination as to your eligibility to purchase a firearm.

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