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Virginia's 2015 NICS Act Record Improvement Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $149,222)

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).

Under the 2015 NARIP priority areas, the Virginia State Police (VSP) will conduct two projects: 1) research, enter, verify and archive mental health orders received from the courts; and 2) hire a JAVA developer to enhance the replacement JAVA Criminal History Records (JCCH) system that exists in the current legacy CCH system.

Mental Health Record Data Entry: The VSP’s current business practice is to enter the mental health order into the Mental Health System immediately upon receipt; however, due to current workload in other areas of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS), often the archiving of documents is delayed. If a mental health order is received with incomplete data, CJIS Division personnel must contact the court for further clarification and in some cases, conduct research to obtain the necessary information. The mental health record may be modified depending on the research conducted and information obtained. This process is time-consuming and stresses the available CJIS resources to perform the research and ensure accuracy of the mental health records.

The VSP will hire two part time employees to assist with entering, validating and archiving mental health records. The part time positions will expedite the verifying of information on the mental health order and archiving the documents.

Developer for JCCH: The VSP is currently programming a replacement JCCH. The current system is 30 years old and is at risk for failure due to the age of the system. The VSP Information Technology (IT) Division has been given a budget to build the new system. Due to several factors out of the control of the IT Department, development of the replacement system has been delayed, creating a budget shortfall. The original concept was for the replacement system to mirror the current system, but with enhancements. Approximately ninety features that exist in today’s system will be deferred in the replacement system until additional funding becomes available. Most of these 90 features are mission critical and the absence of these features will have an adverse effect on the criminal history record files.

The current Legacy system performs many functions in an automated workflow. The replacement system is designed to accommodate this same automated workflow; however, fully implementing its potential will be deferred until additional funding is available. Without the automated workflow, adding extra manual processes will have a negative impact on the accuracy of the criminal history files. Information will not be updated as quickly and increased human intervention in the workflow will create backlogs, stress available resources, and delay accurate information being displayed on the record.

The VSP will hire an IT Specialist III, who will assist in programming the 90 deferred critical functions in the replacement JCCH system. In addition, this funded position will implement and develop enhancements that have been identified by the CJIS Division. Further, this position will reduce the time the CJIS Division must operate without some of its automated processes, reports and essential functions.


Date Created: September 17, 2015