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FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check index data published

FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System

In what seems to be an effort for transparency and to notify the citizens of the amount of data that has been collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FBI has now released data on the number of records each of states have submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Index.

The released NICS index is of course only one of the three national databases that is used by the FBI NICS investigators when they are conducting background checks. The index has been described by the Bureau to contain “descriptive information on persons determined to be disqualified from possessing a firearm” under federal and state laws.

The other databases that are used for FBI background checks are the Interstate Identification Index, which contains criminal history records, and the National Crime Information Center, which contains records of warrants and protection orders. The unique things about the NICS Index is that is contains some otherwise publicly prohibited information including adjudicated mental health data.

In a press release that was published together with the records data, it was explained that the database is actually dependent on the local, state, federal and tribal government entities for the information it contains as these groups are the ones that voluntarily contributes to the database. The agencies are then mentioned to be the ones that are “responsible for the accuracy and validity of the information” that are submitted.

The submitted data shows some figures that have already been otherwise revealed. The numbers reveals that there are now over 2.2 million felony records, 6.7 million illegal alien records, 494000 fugitives from justice records, and 4.3 million adjudicated mental health records. What is alarming however, is that some states are apparently not doing their part as the numbers show that states like Montana, New Hampshire, and Wyoming only have a few on file.

Just recently, the FBI had announced that they were putting the processing of NICS denial appeals on hold due to the surging number of background checks across the country. The Bureau then mentioned that the inconsistent and incomplete data voluntarily submitted by some states was one of the reasons for the backlog.

 

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