The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention act of 1993 and officially launched in November 1998. A NICS check queries three nationally held databases: the National Crime Information Center, or NCIC, which includes protection orders and wanted persons files; the Interstate Identification Index, or III, which contains state and federal criminal history records; and the NICS Indices, which serves as a centralized, national database for criminal justice agencies to submit the descriptive data of persons who are prohibited from the purchase or possession of firearms under federal or state law. NICS Examiners accurately match potential transferees/licensees to records by comparing name, date of birth, SSN (optional), address, height, weight, sex, race and state of residence information.
Agencies that enter records into NCIC, III and the NICS Indices are responsible for their accuracy, timeliness, and completeness. The Law Enforcement Data System (LEADS) assumes a large degree of administrative responsibility for the maintenance of records entered into NCIC. LEADS administers a quality assurance program to maintain system and record integrity. Entering agencies are required to complete a second party check of all entries and periodically validate records for completeness, accuracy and validity. Additionally, all entering agencies are required to undergo triennial audits to ensure compliance with state and FBI CJIS policy and regulations. The Ohio Attorney General's Office is required by FBI policy to implement like programs to ensure the integrity of records entered into III and the NICS Indices.