Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $367,104)
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).
The Oregon State Police (OSP), under the 2015 NCHIP priority areas, will continue to improve the availability of complete records to the NICS through two projects: NICS Record Reconciliation Team, and Firearms Instant Check System (FICS) Record Research Backlog.
Reconciliation Team: This project continues work within each of the seven required NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (NIAA) record categories. The goal of the team is to ensure that all target records are made available to NICS either through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Interstate Identification Index (III), or the NICS Index in the most-timely manner possible. Largely this involves very old records that for one reason or another were not reported to the repository. The Reconciliation Team research, review and update missing and incomplete records. While doing so the team also continues to look for improvements that can be made to further enhance automated record exchanges with contributing agencies. In order to seek larger-scale and long-term progress, the team also works directly in the field with agencies to build on improvement projects that have been initiated during previous NARIP awards. The emphasis to date has been with the largest county demographic areas as the priority for the greatest volume. As part of the project, a more focused outline and plan for contacting all remaining agencies, as well as a survey for baseline information gathering have been created.
FICS Record Research Backlog: The FICS team will work specifically to eliminate the backlog of firearm transfer requests that have been pended due to missing or incomplete records. Oregon records continue to improve through the ongoing work noted in the Reconciliation Team project and the State has seen an overall decreasing trend of the number of pended transactions. However, there continues to be an ongoing problem with obtaining records from other states that cause a delay or pended firearm background request. The number of pended transactions can vary 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 FICS team, there are 200-300 pended firearm transactions awaiting a final determination of approved or denied. These "pended" cases 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 1,300 pended transactions awaiting reconciliation at varying levels for active firearm purchases. The goal of this project continues to be the reduction of the backlog in order to enable the FICS unit to reach a normal ongoing pended transaction workload of 200-300 or less transactions awaiting closure.