National Instant Criminal Background Check System Success Depend - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

National Instant Criminal Background Check System Success Dependent on Local Agencies

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The Brady Law was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, and states that anyone who wants to purchase a firearm must go through a background check. The only way those background checks are accurate in all 50 states is if both local and state law enforcement agencies submit that information into the FBI's national database.

But not all states have to submit the information; Criminal Justice Information Services Section Chief Sean Ragan said this is voluntary.

"They are encouraged to contribute to the national data base because then anybody in the country who is doing a background check would be able to access that national record,” explained Ragan.

This means when people who need to be in that national data base aren't, they can pass a background check in states other than the one they were arrested in.

"If they're wanted and we don't take the in the initiative to put them in the NCIC and they get passed on a background check to purchase a weapon, that wouldn't be a good thing,” said Chief John Walker, with the Bridgeport Police Department.

And that is exactly why the Bridgeport Police Department takes the steps to put all criminals in the national database.

"They make that part of their report and that's brought into our office, we then go through our headquarters, the 911 Center, and they transmit that to the NCIC to make it apart of that record,” Walker explained.

Ragan said one way to make sure the database is accurate, is for representatives from the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division to work with local, state, and federal agencies.

"That is their job, that is their role, to reach out and ask them what they need from us. We ask what could we do to make their jobs easier and make it easier for them to submit information. Those relationships are very good, we do that outreach and liaison efforts on a daily basis,” said Ragan.

Ragan said the more information contained in the database, the better.

For information on the data bases housed in the FBI CJIS building click here.

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