A Freedom of Information Act document request (FOIA) obtained by Gun Owners of America (GOA) shows that people who haven’t committed a crime that would not make them a prohibited person could still be put on the prohibited list.
The FOIA request (embedded below) shows that the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) considers anyone with a warrant for arrest to be a prohibited person. The person doesn’t even have to be aware that a judge issued a warrant for their arrest. The crime doesn’t even have to rise to the level of a violation of the law that would block a person from owning a gun.
The form reads: “The legal counsel of the DOJ, the ATF, and the FBI have agreed that a hit on any active criminal warrant involving a felony or misdemeanor criminal charge disqualifies an individual from receiving a firearm. The element of flight does not have to be determined at the time of the denial.”
According to the FBI, a fugitive from justice is defined as the following:
A person who has fled from any state to avoid prosecution for a felony or misdemeanor; or
A person who leaves the state to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceeding; or
A person who knows that misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against him or her and who leaves the state of prosecution and does not appear before the prosecuting tribunal.
Let’s say the authorities obtain a video of a person doing donuts in a parking lot. The police issue a warrant for reckless endangerment. The FBI’s system considers that person a fugitive from justice even if they are not, and if that person goes to buy a gun, NICS will kick back a denial. The offense doesn’t have to rise to the level needed to strip a person of your gun rights, but you cannot buy a gun since there is a warrant out for that person.
IN THE UNITED STATES, WE HAVE A LONG TRADITION OF “innocent until proven guilty,” BUT THE FBI SEEMS TO TAKE THE OPPOSITE APPROACH. THE PERSON WHO IS DENIED HAS TO PROVIDE THE FBI WITH EVIDENCE THAT THEY HAVE NEVER FLED THE STATE.