Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $1,378,097)
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).
During the 2015 Legislative Session, Tennessee passed legislation supporting a relief program. The bill established a Relief from Disabilities Program which provides a procedure for persons adjudicated mentally incompetent, not guilty by reason of insanity, mentally defective, or judicially committed to a mental institution to have the disability removed as it relates to the ability to purchase a firearm. Having an approved Relief from Disabilities Program, Tennessee is now eligible to receive funds under the NARIP program. The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration (TDFA) will be the recipient of the NARIP funds. TDFA will transfer funds to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), and the District Attorneys General Conference (DAGC) to aid in the state's efforts to improve criminal history records. The TBI intends to completely rewrite the states Computerized Criminal History (CCH) application with an industry standard development code that will allow the Bureau to take advantage of all the current technology enhancements that other law enforcement agencies are using. As a result of these enhancements, additional criminal records will be obtained and improved. AOCs project activities will include the creation of an automated monitoring system for verifying the timely reporting of records to the NICS Index by court clerks. Funds will also be used hire a contractor to perform periodic audits and quality control checks on the records being submitting to the NICS Index. The DAGC will receive funds to help operate Tennessees Relief Program by hiring a clerical worker to review petitions and investigate petitioners history of mental health. Project management and administrative fees, as well as travel for three staff to attend the National Association for Justice Information Systems Conference are also covered under this award.