Appriss is in the knowledge-sharing business. Specifically, as our corporate motto states, “knowledge for good.” It seems like there are an endless number of uses for the data we provide that benefit public safety and society as a whole.
One such use case idea became reality this past Fall in Washington State when the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) partnered with Appriss to implement a Firearm Purchase Denial Notification solution. This solution is designed to notify those with active protection, harassment, or restraining orders if the subject of the order has been denied purchase of a firearm from any gun dealer in the state.
A little background…
Prior to selling a firearm to an unlicensed buyer, Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) are required to utilize the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to instantly determine buyer eligibility.
New legislation in Washington mandates that gun dealers who deny purchase of a firearm due to a buyer’s NICS check, must notify the Washington State Patrol (WSP) within two business days. WSP will maintain a database for these denials, and will be responsible for sharing that information with WA sheriffs and police chiefs within two days.
Why it’s important…
If a domestic violence abuser has access to a firearm, a victim is five times more likely to be killed. According to Dr. April Zeoli, a criminal justice professor at Michigan State University and expert in intimate partner violence, to prevent intimate partner homicide, “the most effective intervention is getting guns out of the hands of batterers through whatever legal form that takes.”
With these facts and statistics in mind, Washington became the first state to harness Appriss data to provide a solution of this kind: alerting victims when the subject of their protective order attempts to purchase a firearm. This critical information puts the power back in victims’ hands, allowing them to adjust their safety plan accordingly. That is what we call #knowledgeforgood!