Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $916,991)
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 the 2015 NARIP award, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) will use funds to achieve two projects: NICS Reporting Unit Enhancement and the Automation of older NICS/CWP (Concealed Weapons Permit) Paper Files into the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS).
Due to the enactment of the Mental Health Adjudication and Commitment Reporting law (Section 23-31-1010, S.C. Code), SLED assumed statutory responsibility for entering mental health adjudication records into the NICS Index. Further, state courts are statutorily required to submit mental health adjudication court orders to SLED within five days of the order being made, and historical records for the previous 10 years, or as far back as records are maintained. Prior to assuming these responsibilities, SLED worked collaboratively with the South Carolina Judicial Department, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, and the Probate Court Association to develop estimates of how many records existed and would require entry each year. Under the NICS Reporting Unit project, SLED will continue to build on past efforts to develop a unit specifically to review, research, verify, enter, and update the information received from the courts into NICS. In addition, the unit staff will query the concealed weapon permit database and armed security officer database for potential prohibited permit/registration holders for revocation and assist with the file automation preparation process.
Under the Automation of older NICS/CWP Paper Files into EDMS project, SLED anticipates complete implementation of the NICS EDMS in June 2015, which will allow a single point-of-entry for NICS related mental health court orders and electronically store all documentation received by state courts. Further, firewall hardware has been updated to meet the need to securely transfer critical information from the state courts to SLED. Also funded through the 2013 BJA Improving the Completeness of Firearm Background Checks through Enhanced State Data Sharing grant a project was initiated to automate and digitally store pre-existing CWP records into the EDMS. Existing CWP records were compared to orders received by state courts regarding entry into the NICS Index. SLED began the automation process under the 2013 award however, SLED was only able to scan a portion of the total existing files, additional funds are requested to continue the automation process.