Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $579,835)
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).
Under this award, the Oregon State Police (OSP), the state's NARIP and NCHIP administering agency, will use funds to complete two projects: 1) continue to support the state's NICS Record Reconciliation Team to research, review, and update missing disposition and arrest record to improve the availability, timeliness, and quality of records available to NICS. The goal of the team is to ensure that records for prohibited individuals are available to NICS either through the Interstate Identification Index (III) or the NICS Index in a timely manner. The team ensures that all disqualifying mental health records are submitted and maintained within the NICS Index and, as applicable, are removed from the NICS Index upon an order granting relief. The team also continues to look for improvements that can be made to further enhance automated record exchanges with records that submit records. In FY 2014, the team will focus its efforts on improving court and District Attorney reporting by developing ways to connect directly to these records systems and/or using the Municipal and Justice Court reporting tool that was created under the FY 2010 NARIP award. It is anticipated that the team will update at least 3,500 records per month for older records are incomplete or were not reported; and 2) continue to support personnel costs to eliminate the backlog of firearms transfer requests that have been pended due to missing or incomplete records. Oregon continues to experience an ongoing problem with obtaining records from other states that cause a delay or "pended" firearm background request. The number of pended transactions can very quickly fluctuate depending on volume of requests, staffing levels, high profile events or policy discussions regarding gun regulation, etc. With the historical workload volume and recent trends within the Oregon Firearms Instant Check System (FICS) unit, it can be expected that at any given time there are 200-300 "pended" firearm transactions awaiting a final determination of approved or denied. These occur when a potentially disqualifying record is incomplete or does not have sufficient information to make that determination without further and often extensive research to gather the data needed. Currently there is a backlog of approximately 1,000 pended transactions awaiting reconciliation on active firearm purchases. The goal of this project is to reduce the backlog and enable the FICS unit to reach a normal ongoing "pended transaction" workload of 200-300 or less transactions awaiting closure. (CA/NCF)