Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $247,475)
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).
The FY 2018 NARIP award will address prohibiting mental health records transmitted to NICS. 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 was coded into the state database and transmitted to NICS as person prohibited from purchasing a firearm. To address the problem, 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. In FY 2017, the agency sought funds to search the Superior Courts database to validate records of persons having been involuntary committed and to maintain a copy of the record in DELJIS.
Under this year's award, research technicians are being tasked with flagging both the base name and alias names of individuals whose records are being added to the G4 file. Once the records are checked, they are electronically sent to DELJIS, then to the NICS Indices. Funds will be used for the research technicians to write a program that will capture the name information and match it to the State Bureau of Identification number to update an individuals record which will automatically trigger a response to the NICS Indices that an update/change has occurred to the record. Delaware will also use funds to add new records to the NICS database of individuals that may have been missed in Interstate Identification Index (III) or in the FBI database due to lack of fingerprints.
The release of accurate and complete records for employment, criminal justice purposes, gun purchases and carry permits is extremely important to the Delaware State Police, State Bureau of Identification (SBI) who strives to enhance and report accurate and timely criminal history records. The SBI works closely with all agencies that are responsible for reporting complete records for background investigations. The SBI currently has a case management system that processes basic needs. Unfortunately, as system responsibilities change and demands increase, the system is not able to keep pace with these needs. The volume of calls received by SBI requires one resource to be dedicated to schedule appointments. Funds will be used to develop an interface between the SBI case management system and the scheduling database where applicants can schedule a one-time request for service online, eliminating the need to make and answer phone calls. The information gathered will be sent to the FBI for validation, and once verified will be updated in the states case management system.