[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 14 (Tuesday, January 22, 2013)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 4297-4299]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01274]




                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 14 / Tuesday, January 22, 2013 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 4297]]


                Memorandum of January 16, 2013

                
Improving Availability of Relevant Executive 
                Branch Records to the National Instant Criminal 
                Background Check System

                Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and 
                Agencies

                Since it became operational in 1998, the National 
                Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has 
                been an essential tool in the effort to ensure that 
                individuals who are prohibited under Federal or State 
                law from possessing firearms do not acquire them from 
                Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). The ability of the 
                NICS to determine quickly and effectively whether an 
                individual is prohibited from possessing or receiving a 
                firearm depends on the completeness and accuracy of the 
                information made available to it by Federal, State, and 
                tribal authorities.

                The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (NIAA) 
                (Public Law 1107-180) was a bipartisan effort to 
                strengthen the NICS by increasing the quantity and 
                quality of relevant records from Federal, State, and 
                tribal authorities accessible by the system. Among its 
                requirements, the NIAA mandated that executive 
                departments and agencies (agencies) provide relevant 
                information, including criminal history records, 
                certain adjudications related to the mental health of a 
                person, and other information, to databases accessible 
                by the NICS. Much progress has been made to identify 
                information generated by agencies that is relevant to 
                determining whether a person is prohibited from 
                receiving or possessing firearms, but more must be 
                done. Greater participation by agencies in identifying 
                records they possess that are relevant to determining 
                whether an individual is prohibited from possessing a 
                firearm and a regularized process for submitting those 
                records to the NICS will strengthen the accuracy and 
                efficiency of the NICS, increasing public safety by 
                keeping guns out of the hands of persons who cannot 
                lawfully possess them.

                Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President 
                by the Constitution and the laws of the United States 
                of America, I hereby direct the following:

                Section 1. Improving the Availability of Records to the 
                NICS. (a) Within 45 days of the date of this 
                memorandum, and consistent with the process described 
                in section 3 of this memorandum, the Department of 
                Justice (DOJ) shall issue guidance to agencies 
                regarding the identification and sharing of relevant 
                Federal records and their submission to the NICS.

                    (b) Within 60 days of issuance of guidance pursuant 
                to subsection (a) of this section, agencies shall 
                submit a report to DOJ advising whether they possess 
                relevant records, as set forth in the guidance, and 
                setting forth an implementation plan for making 
                information in those records available to the NICS, 
                consistent with applicable law.
                    (c) In accordance with the authority and 
                responsibility provided to the Attorney General by the 
                Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Public Law 103-
                159), as amended, the Attorney General, consistent with 
                the process described in section 3 of this memorandum, 
                shall resolve any disputes concerning whether agency 
                records are relevant and should be made available to 
                the NICS.
                    (d) To the extent they possess relevant records, as 
                set forth in the guidance issued pursuant to subsection 
                (a) of this section, agencies shall prioritize making 
                those records available to the NICS on a regular and 
                ongoing basis.

[[Page 4298]]

                Sec. 2. Measuring Progress. (a) By October 1, 2013, and 
                annually thereafter, agencies that possess relevant 
                records shall submit a report to the President through 
                the Attorney General describing:

(i) the relevant records possessed by the agency that can be shared with 
the NICS consistent with applicable law;

(ii) the number of those records submitted to databases accessible by the 
NICS during each reporting period;

(iii) the efforts made to increase the percentage of relevant records 
possessed by the agency that are submitted to databases accessible by the 
NICS;

(iv) any obstacles to increasing the percentage of records that are 
submitted to databases accessible by the NICS;

(v) for agencies that make qualifying adjudications related to the mental 
health of a person, the measures put in place to provide notice and 
programs for relief from disabilities as required under the NIAA;

(vi) the measures put in place to correct, modify, or remove records 
accessible by the NICS when the basis under which the record was made 
available no longer applies; and

(vii) additional steps that will be taken within 1 year of the report to 
improve the processes by which records are identified, made accessible, and 
corrected, modified, or removed.

                    (b) If an agency certifies in its annual report 
                that it has made available to the NICS its relevant 
                records that can be shared consistent with applicable 
                law, and describes its plan to make new records 
                available to the NICS and to update, modify, or remove 
                existing records electronically no less often than 
                quarterly as required by the NIAA, such agency will not 
                be required to submit further annual reports. Instead, 
                the agency will be required to submit an annual 
                certification to DOJ, attesting that the agency 
                continues to submit relevant records and has corrected, 
                modified, or removed appropriate records.

                Sec. 3. NICS Consultation and Coordination Working 
                Group. To ensure adequate agency input in the guidance 
                required by section 1(a) of this memorandum, subsequent 
                decisions about whether an agency possesses relevant 
                records, and determinations concerning whether relevant 
                records should be provided to the NICS, there is 
                established a NICS Consultation and Coordination 
                Working Group (Working Group), to be chaired by the 
                Attorney General or his designee.

                    (a) Membership. In addition to the Chair, the 
                Working Group shall consist of representatives of the 
                following agencies:

(i) the Department of Defense;

(ii) the Department of Health and Human Services;

(iii) the Department of Transportation;

(iv) the Department of Veterans Affairs;

(v) the Department of Homeland Security;

(vi) the Social Security Administration;

(vii) the Office of Personnel Management;

(viii) the Office of Management and Budget; and

(ix) such other agencies or offices as the Chair may designate.

                    (b) Functions. The Working Group shall convene 
                regularly and as needed to allow for consultation and 
                coordination between DOJ and agencies affected by the 
                Attorney General's implementation of the NIAA, 
                including with respect to the guidance required by 
                section 1(a) of this memorandum, subsequent decisions 
                about whether an agency possesses relevant records, and 
                determinations concerning whether relevant records 
                should be provided to the NICS. The Working Group may 
                also consider, as appropriate:

[[Page 4299]]

(i) developing means and methods for identifying agency records deemed 
relevant by DOJ's guidance;

(ii) addressing obstacles faced by agencies in making their relevant 
records available to the NICS;

(iii) implementing notice and relief from disabilities programs; and

(iv) ensuring means to correct, modify, or remove records when the basis 
under which the record was made available no longer applies.

                    (c) Reporting. The Working Group will review the 
                annual reports required by section 2(a) of this 
                memorandum, and member agencies may append to the 
                reports any material they deem appropriate, including 
                an identification of any agency best practices that may 
                be of assistance to States in supplying records to the 
                NICS.

                Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this 
                memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise 
                affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head 
thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

                    (b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent 
                with applicable law and subject to the availability of 
                appropriations.
                    (c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does 
                not, create any right or benefit, substantive or 
                procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any 
                party against the United States, its departments, 
                agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or 
                agents, or any other person.
                    (d) Independent agencies are strongly encouraged to 
                comply with the requirements of this memorandum.

                Sec. 5. Publication. The Attorney General is hereby 
                authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in 
                the Federal Register.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    Washington, January 16, 2013

[FR Doc. 2013-01274
Filed 1-18-13; 8:45 am]
Billing code 4410-19