Imagine getting pulled over for a routine traffic stop on your way to work; you zoned out for a moment, so you don’t know whether you were accidentally speeding or if you changed lanes without signaling. Whatever the offense, it was an accident and you’re hoping to get off with a warning. As the officer approaches, you look up from gathering your documents to greet him and find yourself at gunpoint being ordered out of the car.
The officer handcuffs you, saying it is “for his safety” and begins to question you about being a convicted murderer.
We would like to say this didn’t happen to one of our clients, but unfortunately, it did. Not only had his identity been stolen—and it hit him twice as hard because he was a responsible gun owner—along the way to clearing his name, he was denied the right to purchase a firearm, get his License to Carry a handgun, and even worse, was treated like a criminal.
What to Do If Your Identity Is Compromised
When your identity is compromised—whether it be after a burglary, the theft of your license or permit to carry a handgun, or as a result of a stolen firearm—the path to clearing your name can be legally daunting. And we have seen cases of misidentification result in the erroneous revocation of carry licenses and permits from innocent gun owners. Remedies can range from getting certifications from the local authorities that prove your identity to obtaining a Unique Personal Identification Number (“UPIN”) from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
What should you do if the traffic scenario discussed earlier happens to you? Every state is different, so only an attorney licensed in your state has the knowledge and qualifications to help you. The best practice is to speak to an attorney to learn about your options, and then take the appropriate steps needed to clear your name. Your civil right to protect yourself and your family should not be taken away because you’re the victim of identity theft.
The Sinister Side of Identity Theft..
Finding out that your identity has been stolen is a nightmare come true. To make matters worse, not all identity theft is equal. Sometimes, it strikes at your right to defend yourself and your family…
One woman’s nightmare was just beginning when she discovered her ID was stolen and used to purchase a firearm. Erica Nicole Blake plead guilty after using a West Virginia driver’s license belonging to another woman to purchase a handgun from an FFL dealer. Blake, a convicted felon, was prohibited under federal law from purchasing or possessing firearms. Imagine her victim’s surprise when police investigators questioned her regarding Blake’s activities.
When your identity is used to commit crimes, your entire world can be turned upside down.
What happens if your stolen ID is used to purchase a firearm? What if that firearm is used and left at a crime scene? What if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives performs a firearms trace leading them to you? What are you going to tell the federal agents at your door asking to inspect your gun collection?
It can be painful and costly for a victim to unwind identity theft. You are not responsible for the crimes others commit, but without an advocate protecting your rights you may lose some or all of the Second Amendment privileges you hold most dear.
That’s where Gunowner Identity Theft Coverage comes in. By adding this coverage to your U.S. LawShield membership, you are given vital support from Independent Program Attorneys.
Sometimes, all a criminal needs is a clean name to pull off their evil deeds. It’s our responsibility as law-abiding citizens and gun owners, to protect our information. While we can’t prevent criminals from committing crimes, we can make it as difficult as possible for them to make us victims.
From assisting with documentation and notification, all the way to legal defense if charges are filed against you, a U.S. LawShield membership with Gunowner Identity Theft Coverage is truly the protection every responsibly armed gun owner needs. Add this powerful protection to your membership today.
The preceding should not be construed as legal advice, nor the creation of an attorney-client relationship. This is not an endorsement or solicitation for any service. Your situation may be different, so please contact your attorney regarding your specific circumstances. Because the laws, judges, juries, and prosecutors vary from location to location, similar or even identical facts and circumstances to those described in this presentation may result in significantly different legal outcomes. This presentation is by no means a guarantee or promise of any particular legal outcome, positive, negative, or otherwise.