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FBI Removes Wrongful Conviction Status Of O'Keefe From NICS

A week after suing FBI, O'Keefe is magically cleared to purchase a gun.

  • O’KEEFE CLAIMS VICTORY FOR ALL AMERICANS

  • O’KEEFE: “THROUGHOUT THIS ORDEAL, I HAVE LEARNED FROM TOO MANY PEOPLE ABOUT THE HASSLES REGULAR AMERICANS HAVE GONE THROUGH JUST TO EXERCISE THEIR RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.”

  • HELLER: “THIS WAS NOT A MISTAKE”

  • EDE: “THE FBI REMOVAL FROM NICS IS EFFECTIVELY AN ADMISSION"

  • THE VICTORY MARKS ANOTHER LEGAL VICTORY FOR O’KEEFE

[NEW YORK—Aug. 14, 2020] A week after vowing to get his constitutional right to bear arms restored, James O’Keefe III, learned the FBI reversed course on an erroneous
denial to purchase a shotgun.

“This is a victory for all Americans. No law-abiding citizen should be wrongfully denied the basic right to bear arms,” said O’Keefe, who attempted to buy the shotgun July 26.

“Throughout this ordeal, I have learned from too many people about the hassles regular Americans have gone through just to exercise their right to keep and bear arms,” O’Keefe said.

“It should not be so difficult to exercise a right the Constitution says should not be infringed,” he said.

“I just want to say: ‘Congratulations’ to him,” said Brian Olesen, the owner of Empire Army Navy. “This is the very first time we have had a victory after a negative disposition in the NCIS system.”

Olesen said it took former local congressman John Sweeney five weeks to get a firearm purchase approved. “He ended up going through twice. They never told him what the problem was, so he assumed it was political.”

“This was not a mistake,” said Richard “Dick” Heller, whose successful 2008 lawsuit overturned the District of Columbia’s handgun ban and kicked off the current revival of gun rights across the country. “I don’t think the FBI does anything by accident.”

The veteran of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division said he strongly urges O’Keefe to find the people in the FBI responsible for stripping him of his constitutionally protected gun rights and to sue them individually as well for their infringement of his civil rights.

“James O’Keefe is a prominent figure, so hopefully his case will shed light on what the FBI is doing to other people, too and maybe they’ll be forced to stop it,” he said.

O’Keefe’s legal team learned from the FBI, which is in-charge of entering information into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, that O’Keefe was flagged as ineligible to purchase firearms, because he was listed in the background check database as a felon.

This legal victory is one of many for O’Keefe who is no stranger to wrongful and frivolous litigation against him.

The New York resident sued FBI Aug. 6 demanding the FBI correct the database entry and pay his legal fees in the federal court of the Southern District of New York.

“The FBI removal from NICS is effectively an admission that he shouldn’t have been there to begin with, the lawsuit will continue in order to find out who placed James on the list and why he was kept on the list wrongly for seven years,” said O’Keefe’s attorney

“A number of reporters have misled readers to believe false information about James’ background and we will continue to pursue corrections if it is misreported,” said Ede.  

In 2010, O’Keefe pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection to an investigation he and two others into the Sen. Mary Landrieu’s staffing of incoming constituent phone calls. O’Keefe was given a fine and a three-year probation.

In the Justice Department filing, which resolved the case, the prosecutor wrote:

“In this case, further investigation did not uncover evidence that the defendants intended to commit any felony after entry by false pretenses despite their initial statements to the staff of the Senatorial office and G.S.A. requesting access to the central phone system. Instead, the government's evidence would show that the defendants misrepresented themselves and their purpose for gaining access to the central phone system to orchestrate a conversation about phone calls to the Senator's staff and capture the conversation on video, not to actually tamper with the phone system, or to commit any other felony.”

More than a decade later, the mistake of pleading guilty to the misdemeanor is still misreported or blown up as evidence of his criminal past. In his 2013 book Breakthrough, O’Keefe wrote:

“Had we gone to trial; the prosecution would have had to argue that I committed a crime by telling the Landrieu staffers I was waiting for someone when I really wasn’t. It was for this innocuous act, in fact, that the federal government would harass me for the next three years.”

“Everyone knows James is a great American and everyone knows he is not a disqualified person,” said Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation.

“The only way to find out if you are on this list or in the database is to go and try to buy a gun,” Gottlieb said. “It happens a lot to people and we get complaints about it all the time.”

The SAF founder said going through the administrative process to remove your name takes six to nine months and some people can never get their records fixed.