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WV's Mental Health Records Accessibility to NICS

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $600,000)

The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110-180 ("NICS Improvement Act"), was signed into law by the President on January 8, 2008. The NICS Improvement Act 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 NICS Improvement Act authorizes grants to be made in a manner consistent with the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP).

West Virginia operates a state mental health registry that maintains over 10,300 records that have been submitted to NICS. However, the state has determined that there are presently thousands of manual records in existence in the offices of the fifty-five Circuit Clerks across the state that date back prior to the launch of the registry in 2011 and the electronic reporting by Mental Hygiene Commissioners. The West Virginia Supreme Court will use NARIP funds to improve the completeness, automation, and transmittal of records in the area of mental health prohibitors and to support the state's efforts to improve the reporting of criminal dispositions. NARIP funds will be used to contract with twelve Mental Health Record Specialists that will be stationed in the Circuit Courts' offices to review up to twenty years of mental health records on file and assess the availability of records on site. The Mental Health Record Specialists will cumulatively review at least 20,000 case files and will enter, at a minimum, 5,000 disqualifying mental health records into the Central State Mental Health Registry for inclusion in NICS. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 12, 2013