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Fingerprint-processing advances & MCDV: States’ progress in reporting records for firearm-related background checks


SEARCH and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) collaborated on research bulletins that examine the progress states have made in reporting records for firearm-related background checks. The bulletins address:

These bulletins—published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics U.S. Department of Justice—are the latest in a series that provides state and federal policymakers tangible evidence of how investments in improving our country’s criminal justice infrastructure have resulted in increasing the number of records available for both firearms background checks and criminal justice purposes.

They also serve as a guide to promising practices for making records available through the Interstate Identification Index (III), National Crime Information Center (NCIC), and National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Index for states that seek strategies to improve their submission to state and federal databases.


State Progress in Record Reporting for Firearm-Related Background Checks: Fingerprint Processing Advances Improve Background Check details—

  • the importance of fingerprint-supported criminal history records for background check purposes
  • challenges states face in reporting
  • strategies states have implemented to overcome those challenges, and
  • progress states are making to improve the timeliness and accuracy of firearm-related background checks.


State Progress in Record Reporting for Firearm-Related Background Checks: Misdemeanor Crimes of Domestic Violence (MCDV)

  • provides an overview of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act (NIAA)
  • describes reporting mechanisms for MCDV, including challenges states face in reporting these data, and the strategies they employ to address those challenges
  • provides data that illustrate the improvements states have made in the past two decades in this area.
  • spotlights MCDV reporting and automation programs in two states.

Earlier bulletins in the series addressed states’ progress in protection order submissions and in providing firearm-prohibiting mental health data to the NICS Index.

Visit our Publications section to access a wide range of national research, analytical, technical and survey reports, guides and bulletins on a range of timely issues in criminal justice information management, technology, information sharing, communications interoperability, and law and policy, as well as high-tech crime investigations.

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