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Delaware NICS Act Record Improvement Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $188,700)

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).

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 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 state’s criminal history repository against the G4 (mental health) 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 court’s database. In FY 2017, the agency sought funds to search the Superior Court’s database to validate records of person’s having been involuntary committed and to maintain a copy of the record in DELJIS. Funds from the FY 2018 NARIP program tasked research technicians with flagging both the base name and alias names of individuals whose record is being added to the G4 file. Once the records are checked, they are electronically sent to DELJIS, then to the NICS Indices.

This year, funds are being requested to continue the efforts of previous awards. Research technicians will capture name information and match it to the State Bureau of Identification number to update an individual’s record which will automatically trigger a response to the NICS Indices that an update/change has occurred to the record. Delaware is also requesting funds to add new records to the NICS database of individuals that may have been missed in the Interstate Identification Index (III) due to lack of fingerprints. In addition, Delaware will conduct monthly audits to compare information contained in the G4 file with records in the NICS Indices. Currently, the criminal record will have the disposition, but the record will not be in NICS. DELJIS will perform checks to determine if the court of record’s disposition is “mentally deficient” and should be maintained in the state and national databases before forwarding them to NICS.


Date Created: September 21, 2019