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New York FY 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, $2,936,045)

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).

The New York State NICS Record Improvement Task Force (Task Force) is comprised of the Office of Court Administration (OCA), the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Under the 2015 NARIP priority areas, the Task Force has focused on 4 projects to improve the scope and accuracy of state records relating to involuntary mental health commitments and criminal history records in general.

The first project is to continue the Task Force’s ability to strategize, prioritize and govern NICS initiatives with the goal of facilitating development of short-term and long-term improvement plans. This includes assessing the completeness and availability of NICS records; identifying reasons for incomplete and/or unavailable NICS records; and continuing to refine and implement NY’s NICS Record Improvement Plan. No NARIP funding is requested to support the Project Manager position.

The second project will have DCJS and OCA continue the work on analysis and remediation of dispositional errors, for courts outside of New York City (NYC was an area of focus under previous awards). In addition, the tasks will address newly-identified enhancements that will further support the remediation of un-docketed and missing arrests. The project includes to implement the identified mechanism to prevent and remediate open arrests, missing arrests, and unmatched dispositions in the NY Criminal History Repository (CCH).

For the third project, OCA will improve mental health record submission to NICS through increased frequency of civil guardianship record transmission. OCA sends Civil Guardianship records to the NICS Index once a day via a batch transmission at 6pm. In the case that a record is processed later in the day by the courts, a background check against Federal databases may not be able to access the most recent information. By increasing the frequency of transmissions, this risk will be reduced. OCA will implement frequent, near real-time transmission of Civil Guardianship records during the course of the day.

The final project will require DOH, HRI (Health Research, Inc.), OMH and OCA to enhance the quality of mental health records and Orders of Protection (OP) submissions to NICS. OMH proposes to enhance their NICS System to allow the agency to submit updates for pre-existing NICS submissions to correct errors and duplicate entries. A developer will enhance the data quality of the NICS records by providing analysis and written documentation describing NICS database logic and data flow. Also, the developer will review the database for quality and coding logic opportunities and code the changes to prevent null data or duplicate information to be submitted to the NICS database. OCA will add the ability to collect social security numbers (SSNs) in the statewide criminal case management system and will incorporate all necessary data protection measures, including data encryption and data masking. This will enhance the Orders of Protection submissions to the NICS Index to include the SSN in the existing data fields.


Date Created: September 18, 2015