April 19, 2014

$20 Million for improving gun background check data


The US Justice Department has started a grant program today for $20 million designed  to improve the FBI’s national background check system for purchasing guns. The idea is to increase the amount of data states share with the federal government on “dangerous individuals,” who are prohibited from buying guns under federal law. President Obama first announced the $20 million amount in his proposal to improve gun control back in January.

The Justice Department is asking governments, private companies and nonprofits to develop easier ways for state agencies to submit electronic criminal records, mental health records such as “involuntary commitments to mental health facilities,” and electronic fingerprints to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database. The current database has been around since 1998 however an advocacy group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has said that the system is lacking in mental health and finger print data.

A report last year from the Government Accountability Office found that the Department had awarded $40 million in grant money to state governments since 2009 to improve the database, but that “most states have made limited progress”.

Source: The Verge

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