Lawsuit Filed over FBI’s Willful Failure to Process NICS Denial Appeals

“A right delayed is a right denied.” (Photo via

USA – -( “Today we filed suit against the Attorney General, USA and the FBI for more NICS denials,” Stamboulieh Law, PLLC, announced in a Tuesday press release. “After it was reported that the FBI stopped processing firearms denials in early 2016, we filed a FOIA [request] for that information. It was recently received.”

What did it reveal?

“The documents produced demonstrate that the FBI and NICS were not processing appeals as required by law as alleged in all of our 18 USC 925A cases we have filed to date,” a May release alleged. “On page 50 of the attached, it says ‘The AST has five business days to tell a denied individual the reason for their denial. However, the AST Examiners are not performing any appeal work due to the increased volume.’ On page 57, someone wrote this email: ‘We stopped processing front-end [appeals] mail on 11/25/2015.’”

“Of interest, there are two suppressor denials in here as well,” Tuesday’s advisory continues. “We have also alleged that even if the government provides the relief sought in the complaint, that the Court should retain jurisdiction due to this issue.”

“[T]he Defendants and FBI in particular, is improperly shifting their burden to the individual to follow up with various courts or jurisdictions,” the release explains. In other words, a government with comparatively unlimited resources is discouraging citizens from contesting its mistakes and from claiming their right to keep and bear arms.

“This has been an ongoing issue with Defendants, the release documents, citing a District Court finding “that the defendant was improperly shifting the burden” and several prior cases filed in various federal courts since 2016, when a wrongly denied citizen had to retain a lawyer and go to court to obtain a reversal.

In those cases, “the government … ‘voluntarily’ provided the relief sought [which] essentially mooted those cases.” But they didn’t fix the underlying problem, meaning if a citizen has neither the knowledge nor the wherewithal and persistence to force the issue, the government’s default position is to deny rights and count on the injured parties accepting the injustice.

“[T]he issues underlying the present action are evading review and are repeating day in and day out,” the release concludes, demonstrating the need to hold the government accountable. If they’re going to mandate we get approval from their system, it’s on them to make sure adequate resources are allocated to rectify errors.

You can read the complaint from Stamboulieh Law, PLLC:

Complaint from Stamboulieh Law, PLLC

As a matter of necessary disclosure, I have written about or joined with attorney Stephen Stamboulieh in other ventures included in this link.

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About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.