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Attorney General's Program for Improving the Nation's Criminal History Records and Identifying Felons Who Attempt To Purchase Firearms: Overview

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 1991
This booklet provides an overview of the U.S. Attorney General's recommendations for improving the Nation's criminal history records system with a view toward facilitating the identification of felons who attempt to purchase firearms.

Based on the report of the Task Force on Felon Identification in Firearms Sales, the Attorney General concluded that the first step in this endeavor is to upgrade the criminal histories record system nationwide to make it possible to obtain immediate, up-to-date, and accurate information on any person who has been convicted of a felony. One recommendation is the implementation of a point-of-sale criminal-histories system with a preference for touch-tone telephone access by gun dealers. Also, the Attorney General has directed the FBI to establish a complete and automated database of felons who are prohibited from purchasing firearms. To facilitate this effort, the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics have been directed to develop voluntary reporting standards for State and local law enforcement. The Justice Department has initiated a program to enhance FBI criminal history files by eliminating significant current arrest and disposition backlogs and by automating the records of active criminals. The Attorney General has also directed the FBI to continue to monitor the advances being made in biometric identification technology that will permit more accurate identification of persons based upon unique characteristics such as the live scanning of fingerprints and the digitizing of the data for transmission.

Date Published: March 1, 1991