BJA FY 13 Improving the Completeness of Firearm Background Checks through Enhanced State Data Sharing


Through the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and with the support of Congress, OJP funds the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) and the NICS Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP).Both of these programs provide essential support and guidance to improve reporting of criminal history and related records used for background checks conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, for individuals seeking to purchase certain firearms. Recent acts of violence have focused national attention on the urgent need to close several persistent information gaps remaining in the background check process. Closing these information gaps will promote more effective enforcement of our nation’s existing gun laws. BJA, in close coordination with BJS and the FBI, is releasing this competitive grant opportunity to improve and expand the data accessible to NICS at the time of a firearm background check to ensure lawful purchases. Funding priority will be directed to agencies whose proposals would achieve the most significant gains in (1) reporting completeness; (2) accuracy of information; and (3) inclusion of disqualifying data sets which are currently under-reported in the system. Specifically, successful applications will include improved sharing of mental health information, domestic violence protection orders, warrants, and felony court dispositions. In addition, the program will enable expanded use of techniques for positive identification, including biometric identifiers such as fingerprints, to promote more effective identity matching and record linking. This one-time grant program will complement the ongoing NCHIP and NARIP programs by providing expanded resources and onsite support to address these priority issues, while sustaining existing operations and enhancement activities. This program is funded under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The JAG Program (42 U.S.C. 3751(a) et seq.) is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state, local, and tribal jurisdictions, and JAG funds support all components of the criminal justice system. The JAG Program has been used historically to address a wide range of criminal justice challenges, including gun violence, and has resulted in the development of numerous products and case studies consistent with the goals of this solicitation, and from which recipients of funding will benefit. Some of those resources have been identified and are listed on page 6. The JAG Program authorization also provides that up to 5 percent of the funds available to carry out subpart 1 of Title I, Part E of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (“Omnibus”) may be granted, among other reasons, for one or more of the purposes specified in Section 501 of Title I, Part E, Subpart 1 of Omnibus upon a determination that it is necessary“ to combat, address, or otherwise respond to precipitous or extraordinary increases in crime, or in a type or types of crime” (42 U.S.C. 3756(b)(1)).

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 06/12/2013 (Archived.)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Justice
Office: Office of Justice Programs
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligibility to apply is determined by the specific funding category. In this solicitation, there are two funding categories: Category 1 (Implementation Grants): Eligible applicants are state agencies with the ability and authority to implement data sharing and reporting as described in this solicitation. The preferred applicant is the BJA State Administering Agency (SAA). However, other state-level agencies may apply with the inclusion of a letter of support or other documentation from the SAAÂ’s office that demonstrates a commitment to coordinate activities statewide. BJA anticipates receiving no more than one application from each state in order to promote comprehensive strategies and multi-agency coordination. Category 2 (Technical Assistance): Eligible applicants are for-profit (commercial) and nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit or for-profit organizations), and institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education). For-profit organizations must agree to forgo any profit or management fee. Prospective applicants should verify which funding category is being applied for and confirm that the associated eligibility requirements are met. For information on SAAs and to obtain contact information, visit the OJP SAA web page.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program does not have cost sharing or matching requirements.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Headquarters Office
For technical assistance with submitting an application, contact the Customer Support Hotline at 800-518-4726 or 606–545–5035, or via e-mail to
Website Address
E-mail Address
Financial Information
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Awards up to $1,500,000.00


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