“Beat” NICS in Court? You’re Still Stuck With the Bill

NICS, or the National Instant Criminal Background Check System has long been a problem for current and prospective gun owners. Replete with errors and with well-established gaps in its records its far from perfect, especially for those erroneously denied a firearms purchase.

Recently, Stamboulieh Law, PLLC, posted up on one of their latest cases, Ledet v. USA, where their client Mr. Ledet was forced to sue the United States to get his NICS checks records corrected. Despite having NICS “roll over” and correct the records, Mr. Ledet is not the “prevailing party” in his own lawsuit, as no judgment was rendered as the point of the suit was moot – NICS corrected its records.

Basically, the Court did not issue a ruling as the claimant received “relief” through the successful resolution of the NICS check allowing him to purchase a firearm. Therefore, he was not a “prevailing party”. Per the Court’s judgement:

“[A] plaintiff does not prevail even though its action has caused the defendant to change is primary conduct, because the plaintiff does not thereby obtain a ‘judicially sanctioned change in the legal relationship of the parties.'”

So, in short, unless a court orders the FBI to change its records, the FBI and its NICS division can drag out a case and increase the costs of the plaintiff and so long as they change voluntarily without a court order, NICS is off the hook for costs.

Want to get your rights back? You’ll be stuck with the bill.

The full decision can be found here.


TFB’s FNG. Completely irreverent of all things marketing but a passionate lover of new ideas and old ones well executed. Enjoys musing on all things firearms, shooting 3-gun, and attempting to be both tacticool AND tactical.


  • Audie Bakerson

    And people want the same people in charge of health care.

    • Haulin’ Oats

      The line at the post office for a stamp, will never be as long as the wait for Emergency surgery in a government hospital.

    • int19h

      The alternative is having the likes of Comcast in charge of it. These people, at least, are reporting to the politicians that you can vote to replace.

      • Audie Bakerson

        Next time you have a problem with a federal agency, ask your congressman if he can get a specific employee fired. I’ll wait.

        • int19h

          Your congressman cannot – wrong branch of government. Your president can, though. Of course, you’ll have to elect one that is actually likely to fulfill his promises.

          • Audie Bakerson

            Yes, good luck getting the president to deal with random bad employees.

          • int19h

            Like I said, your other option is a private oligopoly like the telcos. Good luck getting them to even listening to you, much less doing anything.

          • Audie Bakerson

            Said “private oligopoly” doesn’t have sovereign immunity or a personal army and bows quickly to public preasure.

          • zardoz711

            >Said “private oligopoly” doesn’t have sovereign immunity
            give it time

  • Ambassador Vader

    If you have to fight to get them back they aren’t rights they are privileges.

    • some other joe

      Then nobody has any rights and they’re all privileges….

  • Rick O’Shay

    I followed this a bit on Reddit. What an insane story.

    • Random Disabled Person

      What is the link or sub Redit and title to search for ?

      • Rick O’Shay

        The sub is r/guns, the most recent update was done a week ago, titled “NICS Denial Lawsuit Update: NO FEES FOR YOU! (the final update)” posted by u/kiltedcajun. It contains links to all previous posts related to the saga.
        I don’t trust the reddit search engines to properly find what you’re looking for, and TFB hates when I post direct links, so that should be more than enough breadcrumbs for you to find the whole thing.

        • Random Disabled Person

          Thank you kind sir.

  • USMC03Vet

    Meanwhile local governments settle million dollar lawsuits because an attempted cop killer was killed by police.

  • aka_mythos

    I’m not surprised. You’re generally only going to recover costs if someone was acting with some sort of conscious malice or extreme negligence. This an agency acting with the best available information it has at its disposal, albeit erroneous records.

    • No. Under 18 USC 925A, attorney’s fees are authorized. However, since they rolled over without the Court making a ruling, the Court found that we are not “prevailing party” which is a term of art in the legal profession. I file my FIFTH NICS case tomorrow hopefully.

  • DanGoodShot

    And to think our founding fathers went to war with the worlds greatest standing army of its day over some extra taxes. What would they think of us today as we constantly, persistent, even with a smile at times, rollover and taking it up the @$$ like a champ. We really have become a disappointment. Now back to YouTube, Facebook and other such distractions to help waste countless hours of my day while I sip my caramel macchiato that I paid over $5 for. 😀

  • Scott Willbanks

    …and yet costs have only managed to go up. As you described, it was in fact WORKING before this debacle. It is illegal to deny healthcare, and the costs were being made up by the people that could afford them. It was an interesting idea to try to make everyone pay for them up front (buy insurance), and have the taxpayers make up the difference (buy it again). The problem? Subsidizing something has never in the history of the world made it cheaper. Just look at college education as a recent example. Subsidies have caused the institutions to raise fees, “because the government is going to pay it no matter what.” Now, they kowtow to getting a payday (bend to political agenda), rather than actually making a valid attempt to “teach” anything.