Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $179,700)
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 2017 NARIP, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (MD DPSCS) will use funds to support the upgrade of outdated equipment and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Automated Data Reporting System projects.
Under the Equipment for Criminal Justice Information Systems Support project, the MD DPSCS will improve support services for multiple DPSCS criminal history systems that include fingerprint activities, domestic violence convictions, mental health records, and Maryland automated firearms system services. The MD DPSCS believe the new equipment will significantly increase productivity, allow for the comprehensive research and evaluation of records, ensure customer satisfaction in response to customer need, and efficiently meet their workload requirements.
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.