COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The state of Ohio is taking steps to improve its background check system.
It comes after flaws in the system were discovered after the August 2019 shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District.
The current way that Ohio’s cities and counties feed data into the state and federal databases allows many people, who would normally fail a background check, to pass due to incomplete data in the system.
Governor Mike DeWine tasked InnovateOhio to take the lead on developing a solution that was, “free to local governments, easy to use, and mandatory.” A request for proposals for the project has been released.
“The background check system is supposed to track a criminal’s history, but we know that many times, it fails to do its job and gives a clean report on known criminals and dangerous people,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “This puts the public at risk, it puts law enforcement at risk, and is a complete miscarriage of justice.”
Earlier this year, DeWine created the Ohio Governor’s Warrant Task Force.
The task force found that of the 217,052 warrants in LEADS, only 18,117 were entered into NCIC.
LEADS feeds data into the federal government’s criminal background database known as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
Because law enforcement agencies are not required to enter warrants into LEADS, the task force was unable to determine the number of outstanding warrants in Ohio. The task force believed there could “easily be in excess of 500,000” open warrants statewide.
DeWine and Husted believe that an improved warrant and protection order system would help law enforcement determine in real-time if an offender is wanted in another county for a violent offense.
They say for Ohio’s gun shop owners, the system would improve the ability to see all warrants and protection orders in a background check in real-time.
The proposal has the support of Ohio’s Department of Administrative Services.