NICS Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP) Grant
OVERVIEW: The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110-180 (NIAA or the Act), was signed into law on January 8, 2008, in the wake of the April 2007 shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech. The Virginia Tech shooter was able to purchase firearms from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) because information about his prohibiting mental health history was not available to the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System), and the system was therefore unable to deny the transfer of the firearms used in the shootings. The NIAA seeks to address the gap in information available to NICS about such prohibiting mental health adjudications and commitments, and other prohibiting factors. Filling these information gaps will better enable the system to operate as intended to keep guns out of the hands of persons prohibited by federal or state law from receiving or possessing firearms. The automation of records will also reduce delays for law-abiding persons to purchase firearms. The NARIP grant was enacted to improve the completeness, automation, and transmittal of records to state and federal systems used by the NICS. Such records include criminal history records, records of felony convictions, warrants, records of protective orders, convictions for misdemeanors involving domestic violence and stalking, drug arrests and convictions, records of mental health adjudications, and others which may disqualify an individual from possessing or receiving a firearm under federal law. Helping states, state court systems, and tribes to automate these records will also reduce delays for law-abiding gun purchasers.
ELIGIBILITY: Eligible applicants are limited to (a) the agency designated by the Governor to administer the NARIP, (b) the state or territory central administrative office or similar entity designated by statute or regulation to administer federal grant funds on behalf of the jurisdiction’s court system, or (c) federally recognized Indian tribal governments as determined by the Secretary of the Interior.
PURPOSE AREAS: The Act provides incentives for states to meet the goals it sets for greater record completeness:
- First, the Act allows states to obtain a waiver, beginning in 2011, of the state matching requirement under NCHIP if a state provides at least 90% of its records identifying persons in specified prohibited categories;
- Second, the Act authorizes grant programs described herein, which, pursuant to the Act, are being administered consistent with NCHIP, for state executive and judicial agencies to establish and upgrade information automation and identification technologies for timely submission of final criminal record dispositions and other information relevant to NICS checks; and
- Finally, the Act provides for discretionary and mandatory Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program funding penalties, unless the penalties are waived by the Attorney General for good cause. The penalties are specific in relation to meeting record completeness requirements and the time lapsed from January 8, 2008, when NIAA was enacted. As of January 2011, 3% could be withheld if records are less than 70% complete. In 2013, 4% may be withheld if records are less than 70% complete. In 2018, 5% shall be withheld if the records are less than 90% complete, unless the Attorney General waives the penalty upon finding that a State is making a reasonable effort to comply with the NIAA.
DEADLINE: The NARIP grant will open again in 2018.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Jerry George, Grant Program Specialist, Federal Grants Division, at 405-264-5008 or via email at email@example.com.