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New York State NICS Act Record Improvement Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $937,411)

The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110-180 ("NICS Improvement Act"), was signed into law by the President on January 8, 2008. The NICS Improvement Act amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 ("the Brady Act") (Pub. L. 103-159), under which the Attorney General established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The Brady Act requires Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to contact the NICS before transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person for information on whether the proposed transferee is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm under state or federal law. The NICS Improvement Act authorizes grants to be made in a manner consistent with the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP).

There are two conditions that each state must satisfy before being eligible to receive grants: (1) a state must provide to the Attorney General a "reasonable estimate," based on a methodology established by the Attorney General, of records subject to the Act's completeness requirements; and (2) a state must certify, to the satisfaction of the Attorney General, that the state has implemented a program permitting persons who have been adjudicated a mental defective or committed to a mental institution to obtain relief from the firearms disabilities imposed by law as a result of such adjudication or commitment. This relief must be granted, in accordance with principles of due process, by a state court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The relief must be based on a finding that the circumstances of the disability and the person's record and reputation are such that the person will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to the public safety and that the granting of relief would not be contrary to the public interest.

Under this award, the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services has proposed tasks that will address the following NICS Act Record Improvement Program goals: (1) Transmit accurate and timely information concerning the identity of persons who have a federally prohibiting mental health adjudication or commitment to the national files to ensure availability at the time of a background check; and (2) develop a NICS Improvement Plan to encourage ongoing collaboration of record improvement efforts between the state record repository, The Office of Court Administration, the Office of Mental Health, and other relevant agencies.


Date Created: September 24, 2009