Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $653,825)
The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, P. L. 110-180 ("NIAA"), was initially signed into law by the President on January 8, 2008 (reauthorized by Title VI of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, P.L. 115-141). The NIAA 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 NIAA authorizes grants to be made in a manner consistent with the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP).
Under the FY 18 award, the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) will conduct several projects related to the improvement of record submissions to NICS.
Under the Identifying Misdemeanor Crimes of Domestic Violence (MCDV) convictions and Reporting MCDV convictions to NICS projects, the Alaska DPS and the Alaska Court System are working in collaboration to improve the accuracy and availability of records for misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence.
The Alaska Court System (ACS) is Alaskas source for felony and misdemeanor domestic violence dispositions and criminal competency records. The current ACS system for processing of felony, misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, and criminal competency cases is paper-based, inefficient, and varies from court to court. This manual system has contributed to data gaps and inaccuracies in disposition reporting at the state and national levels. The Alaska DPS is responsible for reporting these dispositions to the Interstate Identification Index (III) and NICS. Currently, DPS receives judgments via email and has to manually identify, match and re-enter disposition information. This in turn negatively impacts the number, timeliness, completeness and accuracy of records submitted to III and NICS. These dispositions need to be electronic so that they can be more readily accessed by DPS and submitted to the NICS.
The ACS project will create an electronic and fully automated process from the filing of a criminal case through disposition, to support DPS entry of information needed in III and NICS indices without having to re-enter critical disposition information. This transfer from a paper-based to an automated electronic process has begun with the Alaska Court System (ACS) statewide electronic project under development. The new electronic system will dispense with the manual filing and processing of criminal cases.