Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $828,510)
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).
Hawaii will continue to build upon prior funding from the NICS Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP) to the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center (HCJDC). This year, HCJDCs priority is to coordinate tasks of the NICS Task Force (known as Hawaii Firearms Working Group) and to develop the NICS Record Improvement Plan. The NICS Record Improvement Plan is to identify the gaps in NICS reporting from the State and provide strategic planning to address obstacles. The task force is comprised of representatives from the State and county criminal justice and local law enforcement agencies, including, but not limited to, Hawaii County, Maui County (Maui, Molokai, and Lanai), Honolulu County, and Kauai County, the State Department of the Attorney General, the Judiciary, and the State Department of Health. In-person meetings continue to prove valuable as agencies recommit to projects and discuss obstacles in a formal setting. Funds are being requested to cover the travel expenses of several attendees.
Task force members recognize the need for reporting to the NICS and have identified areas to begin the improvement of firearms data capture and data sharing. Police departments are looking to address the backlog of firearms applications and permitting by streamlining the firearms process and converting to electronic forms and storage. The police departments also see the need for case reviews and case dispositions to determine the outcome of a firearm. Similarly, the prosecutors offices are looking at case backlogs and the need for updating case dispositions. Hardware and software reaching end-of-life has also been identified as critical as the infrastructure that houses the case management system for prosecutors data capture, document storage, and case tracking. Both agencies are requesting funds to improve statewide initiatives involving criminal justice information sharing and replacing outdated equipment.
Hawaii is committed to improving its reporting to the NICS. The HCJDC is continuing to engage with criminal justice and local law enforcement agencies to address the gaps in firearms reporting and obtain the data to share statewide and with the national databases.