Appeal Process

How do I submit an appeal?
Appeal Forms may be obtained from the licensed firearms dealer at the time of the non-approval. It should be filled out in its entirety and mailed to the Firearm Purchase Program as indicated on the Appeals Form. Fingerprinting services may only be obtained from local law enforcement agencies and may be rolled onto the form or a separate fingerprint card may be attached. Fingerprints rolled by a non-law enforcement agency will be rejected and returned without processing. Appeals must be received within 60 days of the date of the non-approval or the appeal will be rejected. If the licensed firearms dealer is unable to provide an Appeals Form, it can be downloaded here. The customer can also contact the FPP Customer Service line at 850-410-8139. Be prepared to provide the queue or non-approval number, which is available from the firearms dealer.

Mailing Address:
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Firearm Eligibility Bureau
Appeals Unit
P.O. Box 1489
Tallahassee, FL 32302

The Appeal Process:
The Appeals Unit receives between three and four thousand (3,000-4,000) appeals per year, so please be advised that appeal processing times will vary due to the nature of the appeal and the volume of appeals currently in process. Documentation to assist with the appeal must be received at the time of intake with the completed Appeal Form. The Appeals Unit will verify any documentation received to ensure it is valid. 
  • Once a customer’s Appeal Form is received, it will be logged for processing by our Appeals Unit. All logged appeals are processed and researched in the order they were received by the unit. The customer’s fingerprints are compared to the fingerprints of the firearm-disqualifying record(s)..  If the customer’s fingerprints are not a match to the disqualifying record, the customer’s record will be reviewed for any other disqualifying records. If there are no subsequent disqualifying records, the decision will be overturned.. Note: Entries in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) are not fingerprint based, so the fingerprints submitted on the Appeal Form cannot be compared for this type of disqualifying record. Our Appeals Unit will make a final determination based on the Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and any additional identifiers in the record submitted by the entering agency.
  • If the fingerprints are a match to the disqualifying record(s), the Appeals Unit will review the criminal history record that is the basis for the non-approval. If the criminal history record appears to be valid and correct, the non-approval decision will be upheld and the customer will receive a denial letter. The denial letter will indicate which firearm prohibitor(s) are disqualifying and any applicable agency contact information will be provided. For denials upheld based on a Florida criminal history record, the customer can challenge the firearm-prohibiting information by completing a Personal Review through the Criminal History Record Maintenance Section via For denials upheld based on an out-of-state criminal history record, the customer must contact the agency listed in the denial letter to challenge the record and have it updated accordingly.
  • If upon review, documentation provided by the customer appears to contradict the disqualifying criminal history record(s), the Appeals Unit will conduct the necessary follow-up research needed to either overturn or uphold the non-approval decision. Ultimately, it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure the criminal history reflects accurate information.
Letters of approval expire 30 days from the date they are issued and may be used for a one-time purchase at the firearms dealer in which you received your non-approval; if you attempt to take the approval letter to a different firearms dealer, the purchase will be denied. Lost and/or expired letters will not be re-issued unless the U.S. Postal Service has returned the letter to the Appeals Unit as undeliverable. Letters upholding the non-approval will refer you to the agency or agencies that may be able to assist you with rectifying the issue that is preventing you from purchasing a firearm. The Appeals Unit cannot update out-of-state criminal history record information or entries in the FBI’s NICS database.

Tips for Submitting an Appeal:
  • Please remember to sign your Appeal Form or it will be returned to you without being processed.
  • Please list the address that you would like your final decision letter mailed to if it is different than your home address.
  • Should you move before the completion of your appeal, please notify the Firearm Eligibility Bureau, Appeals Unit of your new address to ensure that your final decision letter is mailed to the appropriate address. If emailing, be sure to add your full name and queue number or non-approval number in your email. You can also reach out via the FPP Customer Service Line at (850) 410-8139.
  • Be advised that a re-appeal will not be accepted by the Appeals Unit if the disqualifying record has not been updated or removed by the appropriate agency.
What about appealing through the FBI NICS Program?
The FBI NICS Program will accept appeals when a customer has been denied a firearm based on an error or inaccuracy and the customer is able to provide the documents needed to prove and correct the error. Please be advised that the completion and overturning of a non-approval decision at the FBI does not change the non-approval decision in Florida’s Firearm Eligibility System. An appeal must be filed with the FDLE. The FBI NICS does not have time restrictions on when a record may be submitted to request a record correction. To find out how to submit a request to the FBI NICS Program, please visit or call toll-free 1-877-FBI-NICS (1-877-324-6427).
What if my fingerprints are already on-file?
Federal law prohibits the use of fingerprints for any reason other than the reason they were submitted.  If you were fingerprinted for licensing or employment, those fingerprints cannot be used to process a firearm appeal. FDLE Form 40-020 Fingerprint Forms submitted as part of an appeal will be returned to the customer upon completion of the appeal. Should the customer need to file another appeal in the future, a new Appeal Form with a new set of fingerprints will need to be sumitted. Note: FBI Fingerprint Cards submitted with an Appeal Form will not be returned to the customer.

My appeal letter contained information about a UPIN. What is a UPIN?
If the Appeals Unit has reviewed your appeal and feels you would benefit from a Unique Personal Identification Number (UPIN), information on submitting a Voluntary Appeal File (VAF) with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will be provided to you along with your appeals letter. If the FBI assigns a UPIN, you can provide that number to the firearms dealer when you attempt to purchase. Including a UPIN will help confirm your identity during the background check process and can assist in eliminating process delays. More information on submitting a VAF to the FBI can be found here.

Can I re-appeal if my record has been updated?
Yes, the FDLE will accept a request for a re-appeal if the disqualifying record has been updated or removed from your criminal history. Re-appeal requests can be made via mail or email at If the disqualifying record is still present on your record, the FDLE may reject your request for a re-appeal. If you have any questions, please refer to the appeals letter you received. The letter will inform you of the agency that will assist you in resolving the disqualifying record(s).

Click here to download an Appeal Form.
Back to Frequently Asked Questions

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Priorities

FDLE is composed of five areas: Executive Direction and Business Support, Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science, Criminal Justice Information, Criminal Justice Professionalism and Florida Capitol Police. FDLE’s duties, responsibilities and procedures are mandated through Chapter 943, FS, and Chapter 11, FAC. To learn more about these areas, read our Statement of Agency Organization and Operation or visit our Open Government page.