Appeal Your NICS Denial

Gun RightsFinally, there is some great news for people whose Second Amendment (2A) rights were improperly denied. The FBI’s The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) website again has an appeals page. Many firearms owners and hopeful gun purchasers were wrongly denied gun purchases following their NICS check. For the last year, these people had no opportunity to appeal… Until now. If you were denied a purchase, you can appeal your NICS denial.

Halting Gun Sales

In October 2015, NICS’s appeals workers were transferred to other positions within the organization. People who were denied the purchase of a firearm had no recourse. The NRA and other 2A organizations and authorities decried the transfer of employees as a backhanded attempt at preventing legitimate firearms purchases by eligible citizens.

Would be purchasers were out of luck. They could file an appeal, but there were no employees to process the appeal. Those appeals kept rolling in and piling up as frustrated purchases took what steps they could to correct the improper denial of their 2A rights.

Reclaiming Firearms Rights

We’re almost out of the woods now. People who appealed their NICS firearms purchase denial now have a chance at relief. Those who have recently been denied, should feel encouraged to appeal the NICS finding of ineligibility to purchase a gun. Unfortunately, there is still a year and  a half backlog of previously filed appeals.

If you were denied a firearm purchase following your NICS check, there are some things you need to know and do. Make sure that you get any information about the denial that you can. FFLs should give you whatever information they received, which generally isn’t much, but it will help you start the appeal process.

The next thing you’ll want to do is visit the FBI NICS information website here. It’s a pretty easy site to navigate, and it will help you get the information you need to file an appeal. You can definitely start the process on your own, and if you are again denied, you may want to contact an attorney to help you out.

If you have any 2A questions, call the attorneys at Durflinger Oliver & Associates for a free consultation, (253)683-4180.


Get Your Gun Rights Back!

Gun Rights Attorneys

Restore Your Gun Rights.

If you’re reading with a gun nearby, and a felony, or DV conviction in your past, be careful! In Washington State, any felony conviction and some misdemeanor DV convictions will result in a loss of the right to possess a firearm. It doesn’t matter whether your conviction has been vacated, or whether the charge was dismissed under some deferral program in a plea deal.  As far as cops and prosecutors are concerned, the conviction still prohibits being around guns.

Restoration of 2A rights can be accomplished by way of a Pardon, Annulment, Certification of Rehabilitation, or an order restoring the right to possess firearms from a superior court. This last method is the most commonly used.

A Superior Court will generally issue an order restoring gun rights for an eligible person who makes such a request.  Here are the basics: Ten years have elapsed since you satisfied all the obligations of a Class B felony conviction, and five years have elapsed since you satisfied all the requirements of a Class C felony conviction (three years if the conviction was for a misdemeanor), and there are no pending criminal charges or arrest warrants.  And, of course, the person must not be prohibited from firearm possession due to some other factor unrelated to the old conviction, such as a mental-health commitment, or a court order that limits firearm rights, such as a protection order, restraining order, or no-contact order. For misdemeanor cases, all conditions of the sentence must be successfully completed.

Some offenses are so serious that a convicted person can never restore firearm rights.  These are the sex offenses and Class A felonies, such as homicide, robbery, and other violent crimes.

In Washington, if an eligible person asks (petitions) a Superior Court judge to restore firearm rights, the judge must grant the request.  It’s mandatory.  The judge cannot refuse the request just because the judge thinks the applicant is a bad actor.  On the other side of the coin, the judge cannot grant the request of an ineligible person just because the person has a long list of accomplishments and a fistful of character references.  This is a pass/fail test.  The applicant either meets the criteria or he doesn’t.

The gun rights attorneys at Durflinger Oliver & Associates are dedicated to helping put firearms back into the hands of qualified people. Call us today for your free consultation.

~ Martha McLaughlin, Sr. Associate


Gun Attorney


Stupid People

Cops jumping to conclusions? What could go wrong with that?

Gustave Flaubert said that “Stupidity lies in wanting to draw conclusions.” I just finished a criminal trial for my client in which the cops and “victims” couldn’t wait to jump to conclusions.

The basic facts are that my client was visiting a buddy who lives in unincorporated Pierce County where homeowners are allowed to shoot on their property as long as they don’t endanger anybody else. So client was shooting a 9mm pistol 300 yards from his neighbor’s a different direction…with 600′ of woods between the properties. While he was shooting, someone elsewhere was shooting a rifle…in the direction of the neighbor’s house.

The poor neighbors were terrified trying to hide from the rifle fire that peppered the trees around their property, as well as their home. As there was a 200 yard stand of trees that concealed the neighbor’s home, they could only guess who was pulling the rifle trigger. Cops were called and they went to the property where my client was found standing with his buddy chatting.

My client made the mistake of telling Deputies that he was firing his pistol earlier in the day. That was enough for them to conclude that the bullets striking the neighbor’s home obviously came from my client’s pistol. The neighbors likewise concluded that my client must have been the shooter even though they never saw anybody firing any gun. The fact that my client didn’t have a rifle, and the fact that all the damage to the neighbor’s home was caused by rifle fire didn’t matter to the neighbors or the cops. My client and his buddy were charged with Reckless Endangerment.

My Client is a retired Air Force Security Officer who has been working for the Transportation Safety Administration since just after 9/11. He was also 10 months from retirement, and a guilty conviction would have cost him his pension.

We were fortunate, however, to have a couple of great witnesses. We hired an expert witness who analyzed the bullet damage and concluded that it was caused by rifle fire. He further testified that based on the bullet paths of rounds that struck the neighbor’s home, it was unlikely that my client or his buddy could have fired the rounds. Our second great witness was the client. He has 35 years of law enforcement/security experience, and a lifetime of firearms safety training. He was fantastic on the stand. As a result, he and his buddy were quickly acquitted by the jury.

It’s unfortunate that my client had to pay gun attorney to fight charges that the State should never have filed, but that’s the world we live in. We’re surrounded by stupid people leaping to stupid conclusions. Fortunately, the jury wasn’t stupid.

Call Us 253-683-4180

Durflinger Oliver & Associates PS

711 St. Helens Ave.
Suite 209

Tacoma, WA 98402

Fax: 253-683-4184


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James E. Oliver, Esq.

James E. Oliver, Esq.

James Edmund Oliver, Jr. is a criminal attorney with over 15 years of experience representing defendants in serious criminal cases. Some of the more common charges he defends against are drugs, firearms, assault, and theft. After serving six years in the Army Reserves, James completed his legal studies at Seattle University School of Law where he graduated in 1998 with a Juris Doctor degree. Jim has established himself as well respected and zealous advocate for a wide variety of clients.

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