DOJ Reconsiders Denial of Documents in Hunter Biden-Related NICS Permanent Entry Consent Suit

The question: Does the DOJ have the power to create new classes of “prohibited persons” outside of what is statutorily defined? (The United States Department of Justice/Facebook)

In a Joint Status Report filed Friday, the Department of Justice now says it will produce documents for a Freedom of Information Act request by this correspondent that resulted in a complaint after the Department initially claimed it could identify no responsive records regarding a questionable condition set forth in its Hunter Biden plea deal.

The case was first reported in AmmoLand Shooting Sports News in August of last year when a FOIA request was issued based on reports that Biden had “consent[ed] 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.”

Questions were raised because, as Gun Owner of America’s Erich Pratt noted in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray questioning reports of a NICS Indices Self Submission form, “[A] person does not lose his Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms simply because he signed a government form purporting to relinquish them.”

“The FBI has no statutory authority to create or to use such a form. The list of prohibited persons established by Congress … does not contain a prohibitor for a person who merely self-reports as mentally incapacitated, Pratt pointed out. “Yet the FBI has been using the signing of its form as the sole basis to deprive Americans of their constitutional rights.”

In an attempt to ascertain how the DOJ could presume authority in Biden’s case to add to the classification of “prohibited persons” without statutory authorization, the FOIA request asked the Department to produce:

  • All records regarding the phrase “consent to a permanent entry in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”
  • Records regarding the authority of the 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.

Because the statutorily mandated FOIA request response time has passed with no acknowledgment, a complaint was entered against the Department of Justice on August 25 by attorney Stephen Stamboulieh.

A Joint Status Report now admits, “Based on the additional information provided by Plaintiff, the FBI expects to produce approximately 350 pages by mid-April.”

A copy of the report is provided below. New details and developments will be reported when they are known.

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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