Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $1,254,127)
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).
New York State is making significant progress in furthering the goals of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. With the support of prior year NARIP grant funding and strategic planning by the New York State NICS Task Force, the state has completed several critical projects that have led to significant improvements in increasing the availability of mental health and prohibiting records to the NICS Index. The Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the state NARIP and NCHIP administering agency, will use funds to continue to collaborate with the New York Department of Health (DOH)/Health Research, Inc. (HRI), Office of Court Administration (OCA), and Office of Mental Health (OMH) to complete three projects: 1) DCJS and OCA have used prior year NARIP funds to make significant improvements to the integrity of the state's Criminal History Records but additional analysis and remediation are necessary to improve the quality and accuracy of data available for NICS background checks. For example, the state determined that the highest-volume data transmission errors that are currently being addressed represent only five of 326 possible data errors transmitted daily between OCA and DCJS. DCJS and OCA will use funding to support staff and programming efforts to enhance systems to prevent open arrests, complete the historical clean-up of existing open arrest records, and track and monitor the arrests to ensure that the problem is completely remediated; 2) DOH/HRI is working with approximately 21 Article 28 and Article 31 hospitals to submit available mental health records automatically to DOH. Currently, 106 hospitals are utilizing a manual process to submit records to NICS and a subset of these are now capable of submitting their records automatically. Automated reporting is preferable as it will result in the more timely submission of mental health records, improve record quality and completeness, and eliminate dependencies on personnel time and effort to accomplish the reporting. Funds will be used to implement contracts with 10 hospitals that have annual record counts of 900 or more to migrate to automated data submission. DOH and OMH technical staff will also collaborate to improve the data quality of these mental health records; and 3) OMH will use funds to enhance its NICS System to allow the agency to submit updates for pre-existing NICS submissions to correct errors and duplicate entries and include the integration of additional OMH electronic medical record systems. This project will enable faster transaction processing and provide for a more scalable reporting system. (CA/NCF)