Contributor: Adam Justinger
The Second Amendment of the United State’s Constitution states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Although everyone has a right to bear arms, the government can also restrict certain people from purchasing, possessing, transporting, or receiving firearms. In North Dakota, an individual can be prohibited from owning a firearm for several reasons. Federal law also restricts certain people from purchasing, possessing, transporting, or receiving firearms. However, in certain situations, people can get their firearm rights restored. But what happens if an individual has their rights restored but is still getting wrongfully denied?
If an individual is denied, the first step is to challenge the denial. This topic was discussed in our recent blog. In short, an individual can challenge the erroneous denial with the FBI/NICS. It is important to be detailed and include all of the relevant documents when challenging an erroneous denial. But, even if you win the challenge, is there a way to prevent erroneous denials from occurring in the future?
Winning a firearm challenge is a big accomplishment and allows you to go forward with your firearm purchase. However, the FBI/NICS, due to privacy laws, will not keep the information provided in your challenge on file. But, an individual can request that the information be kept by applying for a Voluntary Appeal File (VAF). Essentially, a VAF allows the FBI/NICS to maintain the overturned challenge to hopefully avoid any erroneous denials in the future. If an individual is approved for a VAF, they will also get a Unique Personal Identification Number (UPIN). A UPIN can be used by an individual on a Firearms Transaction Record (Form 4473) to help expedite the process and avoid erroneous denials.
North Dakota and federal firearm laws are extremely complex. It is important to have an experienced attorney in this area of the law to assist you with these matters. For help with firearm matters in North Dakota please contact SW&L Attorneys at 701-297-2890. For future articles, check out our blog. This article is for informational purposes only and is subject to our disclaimer.