14-409.41. Chief law enforcement officer certification; certain firearms.

(a) Definitions. - The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) Certification. - The participation and assent of the chief law enforcement officer necessary under federal law for the approval of the application to transfer or make a firearm.

(2) Chief law enforcement officer. - Any official that the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or any successor agency, has identified by regulation or otherwise as eligible to provide any required certification for the transfer or making of a firearm.

(3) Firearm. - Any firearm that meets the definition of firearm in 26 U.S.C. 5845.

(b) When a chief law enforcement officer's certification is required by federal law or regulation for the transfer or making of a firearm, the chief law enforcement officer shall, within 15 days of receipt of a request for certification, provide the certification if the applicant is not prohibited by State or federal law from receiving or possessing the firearm and is not the subject of a proceeding that could result in the applicant being prohibited by State or federal law from receiving or possessing the firearm. If the chief law enforcement officer is unable to make a certification as required by this section, the chief law enforcement officer shall provide the applicant with a written notification of the denial and the reason for the denial.

Nothing in this section shall require a chief law enforcement officer to make a certification the chief law enforcement officer knows to be untrue, but the chief law enforcement officer may not refuse to provide certification based on a generalized objection to private persons or entities making, possessing, or receiving firearms or any certain type of firearm the possession of which is not prohibited by law.

(c) An applicant whose request for certification is denied may appeal the decision of the chief law enforcement officer to the district court of the district in which the request for certification was made. The court shall make a de novo review of the chief law enforcement officer's decision to deny the certification. If the court finds that the applicant is not prohibited by State or federal law from receiving or possessing the firearm, is not the subject of a proceeding that could result in the applicant being prohibited by State or federal law from receiving or possessing the firearm, and that no substantial evidence supports the chief law enforcement officer's determination that the chief law enforcement officer cannot truthfully make the certification, the court shall order the chief law enforcement officer to issue the certification and award court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to the applicant.

(d) Chief law enforcement officers and their employees who act in good faith are immune from liability arising from any act or omission in making a certification as required by this section. (2015-195, s. 13.)