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 Second Amendment right to own a firearm is restored when wrongly denied by the federal government.
“It is essential for Americans seeking to legally purchase a firearm to have recourse when the government incorrectly denies them their Second Amendment right. Congress has taken steps to ensure the federal government does not run out the clock on permit appeals, but more needs to be done to make sure those changes are enforced. The Biden Administration continues to signal that it will be no friend to law-abiding gun owners, so the least we can do is provide the American people with the recourse they deserve when denied a Constitutional right," said Emmer.
“Rep. Emmer’s bill would help protect gun owners from the broken National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The system disproportionately targets minorities and individuals with common last names, either rejecting background checks due to cultural spellings of names or falsely flagging individuals as criminals because they share a common last name. To remediate this failure, Rep. Emmer’s bill allows for affected individuals to seek recourse through litigation,” said Aidan Johnston, Director of Federal Affairs for the Gun Owners of America.
Each year, the federal government denies thousands of law-abiding Americans the ability to purchase a firearm because of administrative errors made during their background check. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) provides an appeal process for individuals who believe they were wrongfully denied a firearm due to incorrect information. Mismatched fingerprints and inaccurate criminal history records are common issues that result in someone having to file an appeal when their application to legally purchase a firearm is rejected during the NICS process.
In 2018, Representative Emmer supported the Fix NICS Act, which requires the FBI to process appeals within 60 days – a requirement originally included in the Firearm Due Process Protection Act. However, there is still no enforcement of this requirement.
The Firearm Due Process Protection Act gives Americans the ability to seek a court judgment to correct invalid information if the FBI does not act on an appeal within the two-month deadline. Additionally, the legislation increases congressional oversight by requiring statistics regarding the total number and nature of appeals be reported to Congress annually.
Click here for the full text of the Firearm Due Process Protection Act.