James O’Keefe sues the FBI after learning he’s on a federal watchlist and can’t buy a gun

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Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe is suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation after he found he was put on a watchlist that prevented his purchase of a gun.

Unlike his usual undercover videos, O’Keefe shared footage this time of himself and his failed attempts to purchase a firearm at different locations in New York, revealing that he has mistakenly been added to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system, which prompted the lawsuit.


(Source: Project Veritas)

“The lawsuit is being filed in the Southern District Court of New York seeking an order requiring the FBI to remove him from this list,” Jered Ede, who is representing O’Keefe, said in the complaint filed with the court. “Notably, the FBI has not disclosed what information it is relying on to place him on its watch list.”

“I was just denied my constitutional right to purchase a firearm,” O’Keefe said in the video, as he stood outside one of many New York gun stores he visited.

“I’m on some type of federal list. Apparently the FBI has erroneously put me on an NICS Background Check System as a convicted felon. The problem…I’m not a convicted felon. I’ve never been convicted of a felony,” he said, adding that he was “shocked” by the news.

The video went on to show O’Keefe filling out the forms and answering questions about his background at different gun stores where he was repeatedly denied the right to purchase any firearm.

“I hope it’s not retaliating against me because of our journalism,” he told one person, identified as Steve from Outlander Survival Supply.

“I bet you, it is. And you probably have a lawsuit on your hands,” Steve told O’Keefe.

“They don’t like you. You’re in the newspaper business, man,” Ray, of Ray’s Gun Shop said in another segment.

“You’re an American citizen,” another clerk said. “You haven’t done anything wrong. Now they’re shoving a polo stick up your a–.”

Back in 2010, O’Keefe and three others pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of entering a federal building under false pretenses during an undercover operation on former Senator Mary Landrieu. Though he was ordered to pay a fine and serve three years of probation, the maximum jail sentence for the charge was only six months.

“Mr. O’Keefe has never been convicted by any court anywhere of any crime punishable by more than a year of imprisonment,” his attorney wrote.

“Simply put, the FBI’s placement of Mr. O’Keefe on the NICS deny list for felons is wholly and unequivocally improper and based on demonstrably false information. Notably, the FBI has not disclosed to Mr. O’Keefe what information it is relying on to place Mr. O’Keefe on its watchlist,” he added.

At the end of the nearly eight-minute Project Veritas video, O’Keefe said the “bottom line is the FBI should’ve never put me on that list.”

“I should not belong on this list and I’m going to get my constitutional rights restored,” he said. “Stay tuned.”

O’Keefe responded to some Twitter users who weighed in on his plight and even called out “blue check” users.

 

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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