BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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What are the authorized purposes for use of grant funds under the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Improvement Act?

FOR STATE AND TRIBAL GOVERMENTS: Section 103 of the Act, regarding implementation assistance to the states, says that the grants "shall be used by the States and Indian tribal governments, in conjunction with units of local government and State and local courts, to establish or upgrade information and identification technologies for firearms eligibility determinations." 

The law says that grants to states or American Indian tribes may only be used to—

  • create electronic systems, which provide accurate and up-to-date information that is directly related to checks under the NICS, including court disposition and corrections records
  • assist states in establishing or enhancing their own capacities to perform NICS background checks
  • supply accurate and timely information to the Attorney General concerning final dispositions of criminal records to databases accessed by NICS
  • supply accurate and timely information to the Attorney General concerning the identity of persons who have a federally prohibiting mental health adjudication or commitment
  • supply accurate and timely court orders and records of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence for inclusion in federal and state law enforcement databases used to conduct NICS background checks
  • collect and analyze data needed to demonstrate levels of state compliance with the Act
  • maintain the relief from disabilities program in accordance with Section 105, but not less than 3% and no more than 10% of each grant shall be used for this purpose.

FOR STATE COURT SYSTEMS: Section 301 of the Act, regarding grants to state court systems for the improvement of automation and transmittal of disposition records, says that grants be made to each state, consistent with state plans for the integration, automation, and accessibility of criminal history records, for use by the state court system to improve automation and transmittal to federal and state repositories of—

  • criminal history dispositions
  • records relevant to determining whether a person has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or a prohibiting domestic violence protection order
  • prohibiting mental adjudications and commitments.
The law says that the amounts granted will be used by the state court system only to—

"carry out, as necessary, assessments of the capabilities of state courts to automate and transmit arrest and conviction records, court orders, and mental health adjudications or commitments to federal and state record repositories; and
implement policies, systems, and procedures to automate and transmit arrest and" conviction records, court orders, and mental health adjudications or commitments to federal and state record repositories.
 


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