AZ Study: Flaws in Criminal Background Check System Can Endanger Public


The criminal-background-check system that Arizona police, gun dealers, and employers rely on is flawed, and fixing it could cost as much as $24 million, say a new study by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission reported by the Arizona Republic. The system relies on employees at dozens of agencies around the state to enter and track information. Too often, he system fails, resulting in missing criminal records and creating large records gaps that can endanger law-enforcement officers and the public. The report lays out steps police, prosecutors, and court employees should take to fix the system through a combination of new technology, technical support, and training. The process of identifying flaws in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System began after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, when the U.S. Justice Department started to award grants to states to improve their records programs. Nearly six years after the Virginia case, justice-commission researchers found flaws in the information Arizona collects and sends to the federal database. Of 44,075 outstanding Arizona felony warrants that should appear in the National Crime Information Center, a minority of 13,344 are actually there.

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