Following a historic agreement negotiated between the government and a significant background check service, millions of Americans who completed background checks to buy firearms may be entitled to compensation.
What is the background check settlement?
The background check settlement stems from a lawsuit filed against the Department of Justice and a major background check provider, accusing them of violating federal law by conducting incomplete background checks for gun purchasers. The lawsuit was filed in response to the mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, where the shooter was able to purchase a firearm despite having a criminal record that should have disqualified him.
As part of the settlement, the government will pay $13.5 million to the victims of the Charleston shooting and other incidents where incomplete background checks resulted in gun violence. In addition, millions of Americans who underwent background checks between 2016 and 2020 may be eligible for compensation if their background checks were not completed within three business days, as required by law, based on the article published by NBC News.
The settlement has been hailed as a victory for gun control advocates, who have long argued that the background check system is flawed and ineffective at preventing gun violence. However, some gun rights groups have criticized the settlement as an attack on the Second Amendment and have vowed to fight it in court.
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How to file a claim for compensation?
If you believe you may be eligible for compensation under the background check settlement, you can file a claim online or by mail. The deadline to file a claim is October 4, 2022.
According to an article published by CBS News, to be eligible for compensation, you must have undergone a background check between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2020, and the background check must not have been completed within three business days. You must also be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident.
The amount of compensation you may receive will depend on the extent of the harm you suffered as a result of the incomplete background check. Compensation may include reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
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