Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $86,625)
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 this award, the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security will use funds to address the mental health records NARIP priority area. Presently, in Delaware, persons acting strangely that were arrested and taken to the hospital for evaluation have been coded as mental patients by the arresting officer even before the doctor made his/her determination. This information is coded into the state database and transmitted to NICS as person prohibited from purchasing a firearm.
To address this issue, the Delaware Health and Social Services submitted to DELJIS (Delaware Criminal Justice Information System) the records that needed to be added to the G4 file. This file contains the records that have been validated by Health and Social Services as true commitments. In 2015, the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security received funds to match criminal history records in the states criminal history repository against the G4 file to check for accuracy and completeness.
Funds from the FY 2016 NCHIP program were used to match the records by names in the G4 file against records in the courts database. This year, the agency is seeking funds to search the Superior Courts database to validate records of persons having been involuntary committed. Once the records are checked, they are electronically sent to DELJIS, then to the NICS Index. However, DELJIS never receives the original document, only the electronic copy of the record. Funds under this award will be used to locate the actual order from the court and maintain a copy of the record in DELJIS.