President Clinton Announces Over $41 Million to Stop Violent Criminals From Purchasing Firearms
Grants Will Improve Criminal History Records Vital to National Check System
WASHINGTON, DCAt the White House today, President Clinton announced that 46 states are receiving grants totaling more than $41 million to continue improving criminal history records, which will help keep felons from purchasing handguns. This is the fourth year of funding under the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), administered by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
"Too many violent criminals are able to buy firearms and commit crimes within hours of the purchase," said President Clinton. "These grants will allow states to continue improving their criminal history records and share them#151;to ensure that firearms do not end up in the wrong hands." In June of this year, BJS reported that an estimated 69,000 handgun sales were blocked during 1997 through presale background checks. About 62 percent of the 1997 rejections were based on a prior felony conviction or a current felony indictment. Between the effective date of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in February 1994 and December 31, 1997, there were an estimated 242,000 potential purchases stopped because of background checks, according to BJS.
One of the primary reasons states are receiving these funds is so criminal records can be shared nationally through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is being developed by the FBI and will be operational next month. NICS will enable firearms dealers to obtain instant background checks in connection with sales to keep criminals from purchasing guns.
The criminal history records are also vital for keeping individuals who are dangerous to others from getting jobs where they have access to children, the elderly or disabled individuals. Accurate and accessible records also help courts avoid granting bail to individuals who may pose a danger to the community and also permit law enforcement officials to know if individuals questioned or detained have criminal histories.
"Accurate and accessible criminal records help keep communities safe," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "More complete criminal histories can help police and prosecutors keep dangerous criminals off the streets ."
Criminal history records are fingerprint cards or their electronic counterparts, linked with information about arrests, convictions and sentences, when available. NCHIP funds are used to modernize criminal history records systems, including automated fingerprint identification. In addition to making general improvements, states may use NCHIP funds to develop record systems to better protect victims of stalking, domestic violence and child abuse by exchanging records of protection orders as well as convictions.
Every state that applied for a Fiscal Year 1998 NCHIP grant is receiving one. The attached chart includes the amount of each award, the agency within the state that will receive the funds and a state contact. Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi and Nevada will receive grants later this year. The District of Columbia did not apply for FY 1998 NCHIP funds; however, it received NCHIP funds in previous years.
The awards being announced today bring the total amount distributed in direct awards to states under NCHIP to over $200 million. The President has requested $45 million for NCHIP in Fiscal Year 1999.
For additional information about BJS and its programs, go to the BJS web site at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/.
For additional information about OJP and its grant programs, go to the OJP web site at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov
OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS NATIONAL CRIMINAL HISTORY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (NCHIP) RECIPIENT RECIPIENT STATE FY 98 AWARD TOTAL NCHIP AGENCY CONTACT FUNDS TO DATE Alabama Criminal Therese Ford, $357,720 $2,258,819 Justice 334/242-4900 Information Center, Montgomery, AL Alaska Department of Diane $540,000 $2,321,318 Public Safety Schenker, Anchorage, AK 907/269-5092 Arizona Criminal Gerald E. $719,997 $3,049,144 Justice Hardt, Commission, 602-542-1928 Phoenix, AZ Arkansas Crime Larry $540,000 $2,213,996 Information Cockrell, Center, 501/682-2222 Little Rock, AR California Department of Gary Maggy, $3,950,000 $17,825,542 Justice, Bureau 916/227-3844 of Criminal Identification and Information, Sacramento, CA Colorado Department of John Inmann, $1,063,945 $2,810,359 Public Safety, 303/239-4470 Division of Criminal Justice, Denver, CO Connecticut Office of Theron A. $643,777 $3,047,968 Policy and Schnure, Management, 860/418-6390 Hartford, CT Delaware State Bureau Capt. $451,350 $2,352,369 of Ident- David Deputy, ification, 302/739-5872 Division of State Police, Dover, DE District Metropolitan Deborah L. Did not apply $1,248,676 of Columbia Police Wright, Department, 202/727-4301 Washington, DC Florida Department of Clayton $1,138,820 $6,366,986 Community Wilder, Affairs, 904/488-8016 Tallahassee, FL Georgia Crime Bill Holland, $995,000 $3,794,910 Information 404/244-2775 Center, Decatur, GA Hawaii Criminal Liane $500,000 $2,047,125 Justice Moriyama, Data Center, 808/587-3110 Honolulu, HI Idaho Department of Robert Taylor, $206,000 $1,141,000 Law 208/884-7133 Enforcement, Meridian, ID Illinois Criminal Justice Candice Kane, $1,690,000 $8,392,000 Information 312/793-8550 Authority, Chicago, IL Indiana Criminal Justice Kevin Sifferlen, $880,000 $4,242,273 Institute, 317/232-1233 Indianapolis, IN Iowa Department of Tim McDonald, $153,044 $2,120,093 Public Safety, 515/281-5138 Des Moines, IA Kansas Criminal Justice Barbara Tombs, $475,000 $2,362,000 Coordinating 913/296-0923 Council, Topeka, KS Kentucky Justice Cabinet, Mike Fulkerson, To be awarded $2,165,000 Frankfort, KY 502/564-3251 Louisiana Commission on Carle Jackson, $512,435 $2,566,396 Law Enforcement 504/925-4429 and the Administration of Criminal Justice, Baton Rouge, LA Maine Bureau of State Maj. Jeffrey $510,000 $3,491,500 Police, Harmon, Augusta, ME 207/624-7062 Maryland Department of Barbara King, To be awarded $2,860,000 Public Safety 410/764-4200 and Correctional Services, Pikesville, MD Massachusetts Committee on Richard St. $1,350,000 $6,575,250 Criminal Louis, Justice, 617/727-6300 Boston, MA Michigan Department of David Turner, $1,270,000 $5,660,874 State Police, 517/322-1424 Lansing, MI Minnesota Bureau of Karen McDonald, $480,000 $3,270,360 Criminal 612/642-0687 Apprehension, St. Paul, MN Mississippi Department of Jimmy Dukes, To be awarded $2,339,442 Public Safety, 601/933-2600 Jackson, MS Missouri State Highway Lt. Robert E. $570,439 $3,741,122 Patrol, Gartner, Jefferson 573/526-6160 City, MO Montana Board of Crime Thomas Murphy, $670,890 $1,741,383 Control, 406/444-4298 Helena, MT Nebraska State Patrol, Lathan Rohren, $652,155 $2,347,485 Lincoln, NE 402/479-4938 Nevada Department of Dennis A. To be awarded $1,265,000 Motor Vehicles Debacco, and Public Safety, 702-687-8784 Carson City, NV New Hampshire Office of the Mark C. $659,200 $2,836,713 Attorney General, Thompson, Concord, NH 603-271-3658 New Jersey Department of Steven C. $829,026 $4,882,748 Law and Public Talpas, Safety, 609-984-0634 Trenton, NJ New Mexico Department of Irene $499,521 $3,644,992 Public Safety, Trujillo, Santa Fe, NM 505-827-9185 New York Integrated Systems James F. $2,850,000 $14,021,095 Development Unit, Shea, Division of 518-457-6075 Criminal Justice Services, Albany, NY North Carolina Governor's Crime David E. $612,260 $3,761,715 Commission, Jones, Raleigh, NC 919-571-4736 North Dakota Bureau of Robert J. $480,000 $2,193,913 Criminal Helten, Investigation, 701-328-5500 Bismarck, ND Ohio Office of Criminal Melissa J. $1,340,000 $7,126,343 Justice Services, Winesburg, Columbus, OH 614-466-7782 Oklahoma District Gayle $476,650 $2,025,517 Attorneys Caldwell, Council, 405-557-6707 Oklahoma City, OK Oregon Department of Beverlee $480,000 $2,964,850 State Police, Venell, Salem, OR 503-378-3720 Pennsylvania Commission on James $2,781,276 $8,953,260 Crime and Thomas, Delinquency, 717-787-2040 Harrisburg, PA Puerto Rico Criminal Justice Alfonso $400,000 $400,000 Information Golderos, Systems 787-729-2121 Office San Juan, PR Rhode Island Governor's Justice Norman $421,400 $1,740,244 Commission, Dakake, Providence, RI 401-277-4499 South Carolina Law Enforcement Maj. Mark $1,070,000 $3,056,020 Division, Huguley, Columbia, SC 803-896-7142 South Dakota Office of the Judi $394,950 $1,473,300 Attorney General, Schneider, Division of 605-773-4614 Criminal Investigation, Pierre, SD Tennessee Department of Patricia $600,000 $3,262,155 Finance and Dishman, Administration, 615-741-8277 Nashville, TN Texas Criminal Justice Gene Draper, $3,400,000 $14,561,200 Policy Council, 512-463-1810 Austin, TX Utah Commission on Richard $601,695 $2,171,054 Criminal and Ziebarth, Juvenile Justice, 801-538-1812 Salt Lake City, UT Vermont Department of Philip $500,091 $3,843,836 Public Safety, Colby, Waterbury, VT 802-244-8786 Virginia State Police, Lt. Col. $1,169,827 $4,708,913 Richmond, VA Harry M. Durham, 804-674-4606 Washington Office of Gary $730,000 $3,822,682 Financial Robinson, Management, 360-902-0593 Olympia, WA West Virginia Department of Michael $390,800 $2,614,800 Military Affairs Cutlip, and Public Safety, 304-558-8814 Charleston, WV Wisconsin Office of Justice Stephen $790,000 $3,656,000 Assistance, Grohmann, Madison, WI 608-266-7185 Wyoming Division of James $130,926 $896,264 Criminal Wilson, Investigation, 307-777-7523 Cheyenne, WY
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