I keep getting wrongfully denied for a firearms license. Is there a way to avoid this happening?

You may avoid delays in the firearm licensing process by obtaining a unique personal identification number (UPIN) which is assigned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during the voluntary appeal file (VAF) process. It’s created for applicants who frequently experience delays or have been wrongfully denied multiple times to purchase a firearm due to a past misdemeanor charge or because an ineligible person has a similar name.

You can apply for the VAF using eVAR. You are required to submit your fingerprints as part of your VAF application and you must provide your name, date of birth and signature on your fingerprint card.

During the application process, you will receive an email with an encrypted link and pin to access your application. You must log in to the application at least every 90 days for it to remain active.

Once you apply for the VAF:

  • FBI personnel will research your case and assign you a UPIN if you have no firearms prohibitions.
  • You will still have to undergo a complete background check to buy a firearm, but the UPIN will help to confirm your identity.
  • Your will provide your UPIN during your background check for future firearms transactions.

Visit the FBI’s website for more information on UPIN and VAF.

Last Reviewed September 15, 2022