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BCI & NICS Reporting Requirements

Details regarding the courts’ obligations to report various data to the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and other law enforcement agencies concerning criminal records, mental competency, and other information are provided below.  Included are resources explaining the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System and the crucial role played by the courts to ensure that high quality and timely information is shared with the courts’ justice partners in order to prevent disqualified people from obtaining or possessing firearms.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) reviews arrest and dispositional information received from local courts and clerks and law enforcement agencies to ensure the accurate reporting of criminal histories. Additionally, BCI receives mental incompetency filings, relief from disability findings, orders modifying or vacating sentences, and sealing orders.

*Please note, Ohio Courts Network does not transmit juvenile court data to BCI.

In response to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was created to check available background records on persons who may be disqualified from owning or possessing firearms. At the local level, courts, county and municipal clerks, and law enforcement serve as reporters of information at the local level. They submit data to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Ohio Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) which helps determine an individual’s eligibility to possess firearms in accordance with federal and state law. These partners work together to ensure public and officer safety.

The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office seeks to ensure local courts are accurately and timely reporting of BCI and NICS information by conducting tests for compliance during its annual/biennial audits.

The Supreme Court’s Office of Court Services is offering a three-part webinar series to assist courts in better understanding their reporting requirements for the submission of information to BCI and NICS. Participants will hear directly from the reporting and auditing agencies in an effort to clarify outstanding questions and define what is needed to demonstrate compliance with these statutory requirements.

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