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16Nov2017

SEARCH Organizes November 7 Capitol Hill Briefing on Availability of Domestic Violence Protection Orders and Misdemeanor Crimes of Domestic Violence Information to the NICS

By SEARCH

A SEARCH panel answers questions from congressional staff and other attendees at a November 7, 2017, Capitol Hill briefing on the availability of DVPO and MCDV information to the NICS. From left are: Robin Stark-Nutter, FBI; Brad Truitt, SEARCH Chair and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; Rob Valente, National Domestic Violence Hotline; Rachel Graber, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Richard Schauffler, National Center for State Courts; and Devon Adams, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice.

SEARCH organized a briefing for congressional and association staff focusing on the availability of domestic violence protection orders (DVPO) and misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence (MCDV) information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The November 7 event featured experts from the FBI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), two domestic violence organizations, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), and SEARCH, who briefed Congressional, agency, and association staff.

Panelists outlined how the firearms eligibility process works by providing an overview of NICS — including the databases involved, where the information comes from, and where it is stored.  The briefing also explored the critical roles of the local and state agencies in contributing data, and that of the states and the FBI in the firearms eligibility decision-making process.

In addition, panelists discussed: what constitutes a DVPO and the criteria that make these orders eligible for a firearms purchase determination; the role of the courts and prosecutors in this process; the funding programs that support NICS; and the challenges, obstacles and successful strategies involved in sharing information with the NICS.

Briefing panelists were:

  • Robin Stark-Nutter, NICS Section Chief, FBI NICS
  • Brad Truitt, Director of Information Systems, TBI, who is Chair of the SEARCH Membership Group and Board of Directors
  • Rob Valente, Senior Policy Advisor, National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Rachel Graber, Public Policy Manager, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Richard Schauffler, Director, Research Services, NCSC
  • Devon Adams, Chief, Criminal Justice Data Improvement Program, BJS
  • Melissa Nee, Director of Government Affairs, SEARCH
  • Dennis DeBacco, Justice Information Services Specialist, SEARCH Law and Policy Program 

This briefing provided an opportunity to educate Congressional, agency, and association staff on this important issue.

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