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Wyoming v. BATFE

August 21, 2007 - Gun Owners Foundation filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in support of the State of Wyoming and Wyoming Attorney General Patrick J. Crank. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms ("BATF") argued that Wyoming Stat. Ann. § 7-13-1502(k), which provides for the expungement with regards to restoring firearms rights to a person convicted of the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence ("MCDV"), (a) is insufficient as an exemption from the NICS background check and (b) does not authorize the person eligible to purchase a firearm.

In a letter dated August 6, 2004, BATF advised the Wyoming AG that, after review of the Wyoming MCDV expungement statute, it had concluded that Wyoming law did not meet the federal "complete expungement" standard governing MCDV convictions, as set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33). In response to BATF's final ruling against Wyoming's statute, Wyoming's AG filed a complaint against BATF in U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming as being "arbitrary and capricious, and in direct violation of federal law" and, therefore, in violation of 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A). The district court ruled against the State, adopting BATF's interpretation of the disputed firearms statutes.

GOF's brief argued that the district court, contrary to relevant and controlling case law precedent, erroneously upheld BATF's ruling, because Congress has directly and unambiguously established that expungements of state criminal convictions are to be determined by state law, not by an overriding federal standard, and that BATF's ruling violates 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A).


August 18, 2006, Gun  Owners Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. District Court for the State of Wyoming on behalf of the State of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Attorney General, Patrick J. Crank.

The brief was submitted in opposition to a BATF ruling that a Wyoming concealed carry permit based on a Montana criminal background check is not sufficient to allow an FFL dealer to transfer a firearm without obtaining a current federal National Instant Criminal Background Check. BATF objected to a provision in Wyoming law that permits an expungement of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence so that it cannot be reviewed by the Wyoming Attorney General in conducting a criminal background check before issuing a concealed carry permit, while allowing the record to be maintained for use for other purposes. At stake in this case is the federalist principle that the states, not the federal government, have the primary responsibility to govern firearms use and ownership.



Title Date Sort ascending
Brief Amicus Curiae of GOF (119.63 KB) 08-18-2006
Brief Amicus Curiae of GOF (221.43 KB) 08-21-2007