Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $785,449)
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 Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) will use funds to provide training to court clerks on identification and proper entry of NICS-related mental health disqualifying cases; continue efforts to rewrite the Patrol Criminal History (PCH) for felony convictions; and the development of upgrades to the Protection Order Portal.
Under Project 1, NSP will work with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to upgrade software to improve functionality such as error checking on fields to match the Federal database, a need to remove obsolete queues, and to revise notifications for missing keywords. The county clerks are communicating with DHHS that a need for training exists regarding entering data into the Electronic Commitment Reporting Application. Key training topics include entering and maintaining a user account on the Enterprise Portal; entering a new commitment (getting the information necessary to report the individual to NICS); and discharging a person from commitment and granting relief of disability and reporting to NICS.
Under Project 2, NSP proposes to continue the PCH rewrite project that has been partially funded under the past previous awards. As a result of the rapid technological advancements, deficiencies occur in the functional ability and user-friendliness of the PCH. As such, the PCH needs to be maintained and updated to ensure the most complete, accurate, and timely records are available.
Under Project 3, NSP proposes to develop a feature that notifies the petitioner of a Protection Order that the respondent has been served and allow for appropriate personal safety concerns to be addressed. The period of time immediately following a protection order being served is characterized by increased danger to the petitioner. Since 2012, Nebraska has documented four deaths and four attempted fatalities that escalated out of abusive relationships involving parties of a protection order cases. Each of these grave situations occurred one to eight weeks following the service of protection order documents. As such, NSP proposes to address a need that improves the relevance of criminal history system while actively protecting the public.