Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $323,373)
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 2016 NARIP, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (MD DPSCS) will use funds to support the Missing Disposition Records and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Automated Data Reporting System projects.
Under the missing disposition records project, the MD DPSCS states that in 2010 they had a baseline of missing dispositions totaling 229,008. Since then, approximately 174,008 records have been researched and updated, leaving a balance of 55,000 records missing critical disposition information for arrests. These files must be researched and linked to existing electronic arrest records in order to reduce the backlog of missing dispositions and comply with federal guidelines. With these funds, an additional 10,000 records will be researched and updated. An additional 10,000 records will be researched using funds awarded under the FY 2016 National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) for a cumulative total of 20,000 records.
Under the DHMH Automated Data Reporting System project, MD DPSCS will use funds to continued support of the transmission of information to NICS for persons prohibited from possessing firearms for mental health reasons. DHMH previously developed a database to automatically and securely report mental health data to NICS. This database, Hospital Management Information System (HMIS), has been used to collect information on individuals who have been committed to a state mental institution for a period of more than thirty days. This database now includes records from private hospitals, as well as individuals who have been committed by the State Office of Administrative Hearings. As a result, all information maintained in DHMHs database is transmitted to NICS.
While HMIS maintains and transmits all available information to NICS, MD DPSCS will maintain, enhance, and ensure improved reliability of the infrastructure needed to securely transmit pertinent information to NICS - pertaining to individuals who have been involuntarily committed to a state or private facility. (CA/NCF)