Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) reintroduced the Firearm Due Process Protection Act. This legislation would provide an enforcement mechanism for Americans to ensure their Constitutional right to own a firearm when unjustly denied by the federal government.
Each year, the federal government denies thousands of law-abiding Americans the right to purchase a firearm because the government made an error identifying them. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) provides for an appeal process if an individual is denied a firearm due to false information. The primary reasons for successful appeals are mismatched fingerprints and inaccurate criminal history records, and currently, the amount of erroneous denials is not public information.
Last year, I supported the Fix NICS Act, which requires the FBI to process appeals within 60 days – a requirement originally included in my bill. However, there is still no private right of action to enforce this requirement.
“In order to protect the Constitutional liberties of Americans, Americans should be given the ability to enforce their rights if the FBI does not act on an appeal within the deadline,” said Emmer. “In addition, for the sake of transparency and oversight, Congress and the American people should have access to the statistics regarding the total number and nature of appeals.”
“Law-abiding gun purchasers should not be deprived of their Constitutional right to due process,” said Emmer. “Above all, citizens must always have recourse when denied a fundamental right."
Click here for the full text of the Firearm Due Process Protection Act.