September 25, 2023
They now have the power to compel lifetime gun bans as part of plea deals? (The United States Department of Justice/Facebook)

Because the statutorily mandated 20-business day Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request response time has passed with no acknowledgment, a lawsuit was entered against the Department of Justice Friday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The complaint was filed by attorney Stephen D. Stamboulieh on behalf of this correspondent to compel the Department to produce information regarding “consent to a permanent entry in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).”

The purpose of the FOIA request, as elaborated in an August 1 AmmoLand Shooting Sports News exclusive report, was to follow up on information documented in the disallowed Hunter Biden plea deal, in which one of the conditions listed on page 85 of the hearing transcript states:

“Paragraph 9 and its subparagraph are the commitments and undertakings of Biden and that includes not purchasing, possessing, attempting to purchase firearms as that term is defined in the relevant statute during the diversion period, consent to a permanent entry in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System such that he will be denied via NICS if he attempts to legally purchase another firearm.”

The government has no statutory authority to require this.

“The list of prohibited persons [is] established by Congress,” Gun Owners of America noted in a September 2022 letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray regarding a Bureau-created NICS Indices Self-Submission form:

“A person who signs an FBI form voluntarily has neither been ‘adjudicated’ anything nor ‘committed’ anywhere. Indeed, if such persons had met the Congressional test for ‘prohibited persons’ under any other federal prohibitor, there would have been no need to coerce them into signing the form. Yet the FBI has been using the signing of its form as the sole basis to deprive Americans of their constitutional rights.”

That general principle calls into question the lawfulness of requiring the permanent surrender of rights as a plea condition, especially considering that if it can be forced on Biden, who has powerful political connections and can afford prolonged top legal representation, it could also be used against desperate, unconnected citizens of lesser or means.

The original FOIA request sought:

  • All records regarding the phrase “consent to a permanent entry in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System”;
  • Records regarding the authority of Department of Justice to allow and/or require individuals to consent to “permanent entry” in the NICS system to deny firearms purchases; and
  • Records regarding the ability/authority of those persons who have consented to “permanent entry” in NICS to remove themselves from NICS

Per charges on the complaint, because “Defendant DOJ is unlawfully withholding records requested by Plaintiff,” the Court is requested to order DOJ to produce responsive records and enjoin the DOJ from continuing to withhold them.

“I am interested to see what DOJ produces in this case,” Stamboulieh told AmmoLand. “It appeared that after Gun Owners of America exposed this practice, the government stopped using ‘voluntary; NICS consent forms, but apparently it has not.  Congress needs to get off its collective rear end and put a stop to these agencies abusing the citizens.”

A copy of the complaint follows:

Complaint Against DOJ Seeks Documents on NICS Permanent Entry Consent by AmmoLand Shooting Sports News on Scribd

About 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. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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