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DOJ Denial of Handgun Purchase

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//June 10, 2024//

DOJ Denial of Handgun Purchase

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//June 10, 2024//

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WI Court of Appeals – District III

Case Name: Scot Van Oudenhoven v. Wisconsin Department of Justice

Case No.: 2023AP000070-FT

Officials: Gill, J

Focus: DOJ Denial of Handgun Purchase

The court upheld the DOJ’s decision to deny Van Oudenhoven’s purchase of a handgun. Van Oudenhoven had a misdemeanor battery conviction from 1994, which was expunged in 2019. When Van Oudenhoven attempted to buy a handgun in 2022, the DOJ’s Crime Information Bureau denied the purchase based on the expunged conviction, interpreting federal law that still recognizes the underlying conviction despite the expungement.

Van Oudenhoven appealed the denial, arguing that the expungement should nullify the conviction under both state and federal law. However, the DOJ maintained that under federal law (18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(9) and 921(a)(33)(B)(ii)), the expunged conviction still disqualifies him from purchasing a firearm. The circuit court sided with the DOJ, noting that Wisconsin’s expungement statute does not fully erase the conviction but only removes it from public court records.

The appeals court confirmed that the DOJ correctly interpreted the law, emphasizing that the expunged conviction remains valid for the purposes of federal firearm restrictions. The court thus affirmed the DOJ’s decision to deny the handgun purchase and the circuit court’s order upholding that decision​​.

Affirmed.

Decided 06/04/24

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