H.R.4757 - Our Lady of Peace Act107th Congress (2001-2002)
Text: H.R.4757 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)
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Engrossed in House (10/15/2002)
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[Congressional Bills 107th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 4757 Engrossed in House (EH)] 2d Session H. R. 4757 _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To improve the national instant criminal background check system, and for other purposes. 107th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 4757 _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To improve the national instant criminal background check system, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Our Lady of Peace Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds the following: (1) Since 1994, more than 689,000 individuals have been denied a gun for failing a background check. (2) States that fail to computerize their criminal and mental illness records are the primary cause of delays for background checks. Helping States automate their records will reduce delays for law-abiding gun owners. (3) 25 States have automated less than 60 percent of their felony criminal conviction records. (4) 33 States do not automate or share disqualifying mental health records. (5) In 13 States, domestic violence restraining orders are not automated or accessible by the national instant criminal background check system. (6) In 15 States, no domestic violence misdemeanor records are automated or accessible by the national instant criminal background check system. TITLE I--TRANSMITTAL OF RECORDS SEC. 101. ENHANCEMENT OF REQUIREMENT THAT FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES PROVIDE RELEVANT INFORMATION TO THE NATIONAL INSTANT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM. (a) In General.--Section 103(e)(1) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (18 U.S.C. 922 note) is amended-- (1) by inserting ``electronically'' before ``furnish''; and (2) by adding at the end the following: ``The head of each department or agency shall ascertain whether the department or agency has any records relating to any person described in subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code and on being made aware that the department or agency has such a record, shall make the record available to the Attorney General for inclusion in the system to the extent the Attorney General deems appropriate. The head of each department or agency, on being made aware that the basis under which a record was made available under this section does not apply or no longer applies, shall transmit a certification identifying the record (and any name or other relevant identifying information) to the Attorney General for removal from the system. The Attorney General shall notify the Congress on an annual basis as to whether the Attorney General has obtained from each such department or agency the information requested by the Attorney General under this subsection.''. (b) Immigration Records.--The Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service shall cooperate in providing information regarding all relevant records of persons disqualified from acquiring a firearm under Federal law, including but not limited to, illegal aliens, visitors to the United States on student visas, and visitors to the United States on tourist visas, to the Attorney General for inclusion in the national instant criminal background check system. SEC. 102. REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN WAIVER. (a) In General.--Beginning 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, a State shall be eligible to receive a waiver of the 10 percent matching requirement for National Criminal History Improvement Grants under the Crime Identification Technology Act of 1988 if the State provides at least 95 percent of the information described in subsection (b). The length of such a waiver shall not exceed 5 years. (b) Eligibility of State Records for Submission to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.-- (1) Requirements for eligibility.--The State shall make available the following information established either through its own database or provide information to the Attorney General: (A) The name of and other relevant identifying information relating to each person disqualified from acquiring a firearm under subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, and each person disqualified from acquiring a firearm under applicable State law. (B) The State, on being made aware that the basis under which a record was made available under subparagraph (A) does not apply or no longer applies, shall transmit a certification identifying the record (and any name or other relevant identifying information) to the Attorney General for removal from the system. (C) Any information provided to the Attorney General under subparagraph (A) may be accessed only for background check purposes under section 922(t) of title 18, United States Code. (D) The State shall certify to the Attorney General that at least 95 percent of all information described in subparagraph (A) has been provided to the Attorney General in accordance with subparagraph (A). (2) Application to persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence.--(A) For purposes of paragraph (1), a person disqualified from acquiring a firearm as referred to in that paragraph includes a person who has been convicted in any court of any Federal, State, or local offense that-- (i) is a misdemeanor under Federal or State law or, in a State that does not classify offenses as misdemeanors, is an offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of 1 year or less (or punishable by only a fine); (ii) has, as an element of the offense, the use or attempted use of physical force (for example, assault and battery), or the threatened use of a deadly weapon; and (iii) was committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, (for example, the equivalent of ``common-law marriage'' even if such relationship is not recognized under the law), or a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim (for example, two persons who are residing at the same location in an intimate relationship with the intent to make that place their home would be similarly situated to a spouse). (B) A person shall not be considered to have been convicted of such an offense for purposes of subparagraph (A) unless-- (i) the person is considered to have been convicted by the jurisdiction in which the proceeding was held; (ii) the person was represented by counsel in the case, or knowingly and intelligently waived the right to counsel in the case; and (iii) in the case of a prosecution for which a person was entitled to a jury trial in the jurisdiction in which the case was tried-- (I) the case was tried by a jury; or (II) the person knowingly and intelligently waived the right to have the case tried by a jury, by guilty plea, or otherwise. (C) A person shall not be considered to have been convicted of such an offense for purposes of subparagraph (A) if the conviction has been expunged or set aside, or is an offense for which the person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored (if the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held provides for the loss of civil rights upon conviction of such an offense) unless the pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms, and the person is not otherwise prohibited by the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held from receiving or possessing any firearms. (3) Application to persons who have been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution.-- (A) For purposes of paragraph (1), an adjudication as a mental defective occurs when a court, board, commission, or other government entity determines that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease-- (i) is a danger to himself or to others; or (ii) lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs. (B) The term ``adjudicated as a mental defective'' includes-- (i) a finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and (ii) a finding that a person is incompetent to stand trial or is not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to articles 50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (10 U.S.C. 850a, 876b). (C) Exceptions.--This paragraph does not apply to-- (i) a person-- (I) in a mental institution for observation; or (II) voluntarily committed to a mental institution; or (ii) information protected by doctor- patient privilege. (4) Privacy protections.--For any information provided under the national instant criminal background check system, the Attorney General shall work with States and local law enforcement and the mental health community to establish regulations and protocols for protecting the privacy of information provided to the system. In the event of a conflict between a provision of this Act and a provision of State law relating to privacy protection, the provision of State law shall control. (5) State authority.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, a State may designate that records transmitted under this subsection shall be used only to determine eligibility to purchase or possess a firearm. (c) Attorney General Report.--Not later than January 31 of each year, the Attorney General shall submit to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives a report on the progress of States in automating the databases containing the information described in subsection (b) and in providing that information pursuant to the requirements of such subsection. SEC. 103. IMPLEMENTATION GRANTS TO STATES. (a) In General.--From amounts made available to carry out this section, the Attorney General shall make grants to each State, in a manner consistent with the national criminal history improvement program, which shall be used by the State, in conjunction with units of local government and State and local courts, to establish or upgrade information and identification technologies for firearms eligibility determinations. (b) Use of Grant Amounts.--Grants under this section may only be awarded for the following purposes: (1) Building databases that are directly related to checks under the national instant criminal background check system (NICS), including court disposition and corrections records. (2) Assisting States in establishing or enhancing their own capacities to perform NICS background checks. (3) Improving final dispositions of criminal records. (4) Supplying mental health records to NICS. (5) Supplying court-ordered domestic restraining orders and records of domestic violence misdemeanors (as defined in section 102 of this Act) for inclusion in NICS. (c) Condition.--As a condition of receiving a grant under this section, a State shall specify the projects for which grant amounts will be used, and shall use such amounts only as specified. A State that violates this section shall be liable to the Attorney General for the full amount granted. (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $250,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004, 2005, and 2006. (e) The Federal Bureau of Investigation shall not charge a user fee for background checks pursuant to section 922(t) of title 18, United States Code. TITLE II--FOCUSING FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF RELEVANT RECORDS SEC. 201. CONTINUING EVALUATIONS. (a) Evaluation Required.--The Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics shall study and evaluate the operations of the national instant criminal background check system. Such study and evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, compilations and analyses of the operations and record systems of the agencies and organizations participating in such system. (b) Report on Grants.--Not later than January 31 of each year, the Director shall submit to Congress a report on the implementation of section 102(b). (c) Report on Best Practices.--Not later than January 31 of each year, the Director shall submit to Congress, and to each State participating in the National Criminal History Improvement Program, a report of the practices of the States regarding the collection, maintenance, automation, and transmittal of identifying information relating to individuals described in subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, by the State or any other agency, or any other records relevant to the national instant criminal background check system, that the Director considers to be best practices. TITLE III--GRANTS TO STATE COURTS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT IN AUTOMATION AND TRANSMITTAL OF DISPOSITION RECORDS SEC. 301. GRANTS AUTHORIZED. (a) In General.--From amounts made available to carry out this section, the Attorney General shall make grants to each State for use by the chief judicial officer of the State to improve the handling of proceedings related to criminal history dispositions and restraining orders. (b) Use of Funds.--Amounts granted under this section shall be used by the chief judicial officer only as follows: (1) For fiscal year 2004, such amounts shall be used to carry out assessments of the capabilities of the courts of the State for the automation and transmission to State and Federal record repositories the arrest and conviction records of such courts. (2) For fiscal years after 2004, such amounts shall be used to implement policies, systems, and procedures for the automation and transmission to State and Federal record repositories the arrest and conviction records of such courts. (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Attorney General to carry out this section $125,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004, 2005, and 2006. Passed the House of Representatives October 15, 2002. Attest: Clerk.