Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $664,446)
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 priority areas, the Oregon State Police (OSP) will conduct two projects: NICS Reconciliation Team to research missing data on qualifying records; and, Firearms Instant Check System (FICS) research team to obtain missing record information for persons in pended status for a firearm license.
NICS Reconciliation Team: OSP will continue this project with a 2016 team consisting of nine positions. The goal of the team is to ensure that all target records are made available to NICS either through NCIC, III, or the NICS Index in the timeliest manner. This involves searching for old records that were never reported to the repository. Activities for the team members include researching, reviewing, and updating missing and incomplete records. In addition, the team will continue to look for improvements that can be made to further enhance automated record exchanges with contributing agencies. The reconciliation team has maintained a set target of updating 3,000 records per month for older records that are incomplete or missing. Another initiative for the team is to work directly in the field with agencies to build on improvement projects that have been funded by previous NARIP awards. The initial emphasis to date has been visiting with the largest county demographic areas as the priority for the greatest volume; however, the team intends to make contact with each county to gain information as to what capabilities each may have for making change in reporting practices. An updated method for agencies to report qualifying mental health records has been implemented and will enhance the real-time reporting from each of the contributing agencies as they make changes within their own record keeping processes.
FICS Pended Record Research Backlog: OSP research staff will work toward eliminating the backlog of firearms transfer requests that have been pended due to missing or incomplete records. Due to the complex and varying nature of each transaction as well as a wide range of time involved in each case, the goal for each researcher is to complete as many of the process steps possible each day in order to reach closure of the transaction and update the Oregon record when applicable. The volume of background checks for 2015 was among the highest in the history of Oregons program. The first quarter of 2016 continued to produce a higher volume of firearms background checks than the first quarter of 2015. The team continues to make strides in the pended workload while still able to contribute to long-term improvement processes. This project will result in more complete and accurate records available to the NICS. (CA/NCF)